Years ago, we used to take in student boarders to supplement
our income while raising five kids.
One of them bought us these candlesticks for Christmas one year
and these ended up being relegated to outside parties
....not that we didn't love the gift!
I decided to try my hand at the wondrous chalkpaint that can cover
just about anything.
(I learned how from Maureen at It's All Connected)

I'm showing you the three different stages of the redo here....

1.  Two coats of chalk paint made with Antique White Latex (2/3rds) & Plaster of Paris          (1/3rd) with a little water to thin out.
2.  I sanded (painstakingly) the ridges of the candlestick and applied walnut acrylic
     craft paint with the tip of my finger in a cloth, gently onto the edges.  I wanted to keep
     a shabby look to it.  (dab the excess off onto another rag before applying this or you'll      have globs.)  Touch up any mistakes with more chalkpaint.
3.  I sprayed this with a fast drying Clear Diamond Coat of protection.  I was going to use      paste wax and actually started to...big mistake...too difficult with all the detailing in          these candles.
I'm pretty thrilled with the finished product
and they don't look anything like they used to!  They can be used any time
of year or for any special occasion!
I like that they look somewhat distressed and they will be used inside now!

I thought adding some hurricane lamp glassware would be
a different look for them...and it is....until you are showing your friend
Maureen the bottom of the lamp and you tip it and smash the glass
to smithereens!  Yup....I'm a clutz...just in case you hadn't figured that one out yet!
Luckily, it wasn't one of Dan's good ones...eek!

So, ultimately, I believe I'll stick with NO GLASS and
I think I prefer the look anyway.
Which look do you prefer?
Safety first!

I'd like to ask a favour...even though I'm not a world famous blogger?
I've been following That's What (Che) Said almost since I started
blogging in August and Cheryl is having her very first linky party
As you can imagine...she's pretty nervous no one will come to her party.
I know I'd be scared! Eek!
With all those awesome, fabulous ideas out there, could some of you please
go check out her linky party?
NO RULES and it's over a month long!
I was honoured with being the first one!  Yay!

(The following is an exerpt from her posting for the linky party)

"This link party will run November 25th through January 7th.  Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years are all included!  I’m an equal opportunity Link Party Hostess!  Alright, what are you waiting for???  Link up your fabulousness!

(this is my first link party so if you’d spread the love I’d really appreciate it!  This feels like the first day of a new school for me! )

I will also be doing several feature posts showcasing YOUR awesome projects!  I can’t wait!!!  Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook!  I will also be featuring linked items there as well!!"

A place to link up anything holiday!  DIY, Recipes, Crafts, Decor, Decorations, Parties, Ideas, Hints, etc. 
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special
Sunday's Best Linky Party!

I'm not sure how many of you have a wee little dog...did I say
that out loud?!  Wee little "person/king" in your home?

We have Elmo!  Our black shi-poo!

Elmo sleeps up on our bed with the King that he is!
and growls at Rainy (our other special dog) when she even attempts to get up there too!
Elmo has a problem though....
Every three-four times he jumps up onto our bed, he bangs his back feet on the
steel bedframe and I cringe!
I made him a wee step stool this week!
I absolutely adore it!
It has sentimental value as well for two reasons.
My husband made it way back (way, way back...hahahaha!) in Grade 8!
and, it was chewed up in one corner by our beloved chocolate lab "Molly" years ago.

I decided this would be the perfect stepping stool for Elmo!
and a great way to preserve a special past.

Here's how the project progressed to the above point...


It was extremely battered as you can see and well used over the years, wouldn't you say?


Here's a view of that knarly mess Molly made of the corner, above and underneath...and actually, I had started sanding this so you didn't even see how horrid it really was!

I used Minwax Wood Filler...for the first time and it was relatively painless.  You just put a golfball sized glob into the dish, then add 1cm of the mix from the tube and stir it up, then slather it on.  I can't quite figure out how to clean the dish to reuse it...but there's always cream cheese containers right?!

                                                                 Did I say slather?

This did take a little longer than what the can said it would,
but I doubt they knew I'd be using it so liberally!

This was after the 2nd application had been sanded.
I still had to put one more  thin layer on to even it up and sand again.
Then it was ready for some paint!
Not the best photo of the blue colour because it is greyish, but I forgot to
take a photo at this phase in proper lighting!
This is my base colour.
After this I did two coats of homemade chalk paint I learned how to make from
my friend Maureen at It's All Connected, who learned how from
Sherri at No Minimalist Here!

I really enjoyed using the chalk was so easy to work with!
I then distressed my step around the edges down to the blue in spots and
down to the wood in little bits.

I used a Graphics Fairy image of a dog like Elmo sitting
in a vintage shoe!
I agonized over this part...would I do it in black & white, sepia or colour?
In the end, sepia won because the blue in the shoe really clashed
with the blue I wanted to sand down to and the black & white
seemed too stark for our bedroom.

My words "Le Chien Etape" mean "The Dog's Step"
( looks so much nicer in french!)
and I played around on picnik to get the font I wanted.
Now...if you look very'll see I had to paint the words on.
Yup...I rubbed too hard and the wording image came off in parts!
And then, part of the picture rubbed off at the bottom in the instep.
Trouble, trouble, trouble...
That's when I pulled out some acrylic crafting paints (walnut & angel flesh...
do angels have flesh?) and my paintbrushes and got to work.
I think you'd have to know it was there to realize the flaws...but maybe I'm
just looking through my "hey! I like it" eyes.
Oh...also...I sprayed my project with a clear diamond finish spraypaint
rather than wax...I figured...if Elmo's jumping on it, the wax
may be ruined and not be durable enough.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my
trials & tribulations with this project as much as I enjoyed all the progress between
before & after!
Thanks to the Graphics Fairy for her awesome images!

Now I just have to see if Elmo will use it!

Momma Hens Coop

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special
Sunday's Best Linky Party!
(I was not paid to speak about Minwax...I just liked it!)
Dan & I went antiquing this past Saturday, with nothing in mind
other than to browse around and not buy much.
We were good!  Honest!

All items purchased were under $14.00!
See...we were good!

We went out to Waterford Antique Market in Waterford, ON which has two
stories of awesomeness inside...oh yah!
See what a horribly dismal day it was!  What better time to hide inside
an antique market!?  I told you all recently that Dan's going for a hernia surgery on
Thursday this week....well....he had alot of outside stuff to do, but it was nice for us
to just go out on that cold, drizzly day and it'll be awhile 'til the next time we're able to!

Okay...onto the fun stuff!

Our Interesting Finds of the Day

We don't believe this is all....but it was kind of a great thing to have around!
you can clip a strand of jewellry, or something you are trying to read, into
the two clips and magnify it.
(Actually....Dan was more excited about this than I...but you never know?  I may end up using it someday)

These two 16" long scrolly wood pieces were a conundrum when we got them home.
Where I had envisioned them,
(In the doorway between our closet hallway and our actual bedroom)
didn't work.  They just didn't look right.
So, I walked around the whole house holding them up everywhere
and I'm still not sure about them.
Dan wants to make plant hangers out of them for the front porch....not a bad idea?
I was thinking....shelf supports....Still thinking.....
Any ideas friends?

Of course, as a lover of the garden, who wouldn't love this find?
Because the plexiglass is aged, Dan is going to cut some glass for it
and that will clean it right up!

I have a secret plan for this baby!
Can you guess what it is?  ...the secret plan I mean!
This is a plant

50 cents each
Brown Wood Pirns,
fit into a shuttle for bobbin winding when making wool.
Check out Spinning Lizzie to see how they would have worked.
(she got hers for 25 cents each....lucky!)
These are part of my secret plan....

And, last, but not least!
I've been so inspired by VillaBarnes and have read pretty much her whole blog!
She talks of collecting "embellishments", which I should
have been doing all these years and could kick myself for not!
So, these are two little 4" trivets I found that I thought might be kind of pretty
as an embellishment on the face of a dresser or chest.
It's funny, but when you are looking for are going through
every nook and cranny of an antique store and looking behind things more, just to find
those little goody bags they put together for next to nothing!

I've so enjoyed sharing my day trip with you!
Have a great day!
When I was in my twenties, my dad gave me an
ironing board that belonged to his mother.
I had it for years and loved it so!
He took it home a few years before he passed away to refinish it for me
and it's still sitting at my mom's.
(but that's a whole other story...
not a bad one...just a quirky one!)
Today...for the very first time in my whole life of antiquing....
Not only is it a stepstool, but it's also a sitting stool
and an ironing board!
Isn't this so cool?!
I have plans (just like the's coming...don't worry!)
You'll just have to wait and see!
This is definitely going to entail my sewing machine...eek!

While we were in the antique market, "Crossroads" in Brantford,
I also came across something else totally coincidental
to my life!
In 1975...yup, that's right (I was 13!) next door neighbour, Mrs. Harris,
gave me these two lovely pictures which I just recently repainted the frames of
and hung on the wall near my vanity table in our bedroom.
I carried these pictures around for the last 36 years!

Today, I found this following picture with the exact same
picture frames as my originals!
How great is that!?
This one is double the width of the other two originals
and thank god I used 3M tape to hang those other two because I'm
going to have to rearrange the pictures above the shelf!

I also hit paydirt when I found 11 doilies for $7.50...half price!
Doilies are indispensable when you are trying to
make your bedroom into a French Country look!
So, that was the end of my day....a nice end!
I spent the whole day running errands, taking my mom to the doctors,
all those things that you absolutely must do!
And, at the end, on our way home, I said to Dan...
"Let's go to Crossroads, cuz I'm feeling like there's something there waiting for me".
And....I was RIGHT!!!
The idea for this Wreath came to me while Dan & I
were driving into the city....and I think when I yelled out
"Oh!  I've got it!", he had one of those strange
moments where he looks at me like "Do you have to get so excited when I'm driving?"
Needless to say we didn't crash.
(knock on wood)

I'm very happy with how this turned out....I thought
it might look super tacky when done (and I know....
I truly don't want to be one of those super tacky crafters that only think their stuff is nice...and really...
it's so bad, you wouldn't even buy it at the dollar store!).
I kinda love it!

I picked up a twig wreath at Michaels for a couple bucks,
Spraypainted it black,
tightly wired on a $1.00 web I picked up at the dollar store,
and wired some fall foliage onto it and
the Spider!

So fun!  But wait, I didn't stop here....
I also decided that "yes...I do need a centerpiece for my dining table"
(even though I'm still mad at it for hurting me yesterday!  Hahaha)

Here, I've used a brown metal oval bowl my daughter, Alana,
gave me last year (which kind of modernizes it) and padded the bottom with
that "wickedly messy Spanish Moss".

Then I added some plastic pumpkins, more fake foliage, a sparkly Christmas candle,
and real pinecones (that I gathered painstakingly while weeding in the summer).

And, seriously...this dining table was made for the Fall of the Year!
The colours compliment so well, don't they?

I'm happy!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
I've decided that I will post new projects that are in the works here
on my main blogging page.
In this way, you can see what I'm working on at present, so,
whether it's a craft, a revamp, or a room,
you'll at least see the BEFORE photo for sure
hopefully, look forward to the after as much as I will!
(the photographer of this photo doesn't want any credit..heehee)
As you can see, the rust on this birdcage is pretty bad.
What I've done so far is, I've used steel wool
dipped in a mixture of Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon...
Picture you can see, it really is cleaning up well
with this method.
I think I've done the hardest part...the cage, but
now I have to work on the stand.
which I think...may be challenging to get in all
the little grooves and try to clean out the rust.
I read somewhere that you can soak
metal in strong tea
and it will clean off the rust.
Think I'll try that first....way less elbow grease involved!

Dan had this old birdstand with a different birdcage hanging on it for quite some time.  The old cage was just a stainless steel 70's version of a square budgie cage and not very pretty or salvagable as far as we were concerned.  This sat in our old garage for years...with no love....I know!  Then, a couple years ago we were at an antique place and found the lovely, curvy, Victorian looking birdcage with little glass feeders and brought that home.  It was a perfect fit for the cage stand and now....I'm finally doing something about refurbishing the old girl.  We're not going to put a bird in it, but something.....not sure what yet. 

That will be the fun part!   Playing with different interior looks!
This is the Day! 
It's finally finished completely!

This was BEFORE!!!

And here are the After shots!
I think it looks like something I'd buy at HomeSense!

            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. 

            And now....we never, ever, have to talk about this tray again! 

(Oh, did I mention that I actually thought my SPAZ day was over because I achieved so much yesterday...and then....wait for it.....oh yah....dropped my iphone4 into my tea!  So, it's sitting in a bag of rice right now and I'm praying it will work after 24-48hrs in there.  And, I apologize for no blog yesterday, but our country internet was excruciatingly slow and wouldn't load any of my photos.)

            Have a great non-Spaz day!
        That seems to be the way that a vast majority of my "projects go".  You may have been waiting for this to show up...and you still have to wait!  Hahaha!  I took it apart (or was that "we" ...nevertheless!) and "I" patched the crack in the frame with wood filler and the frame has also been sanded.  The handles were taken off in preparation for being spray-painted a stainless steel colour and the glass was cleaned up by razoring the edges where stain had settled and dirt, then washed and it's in great shape.  The problem was when I discovered that the "wood" with the painting on it wasn't wood, but was a heavier-grade,  thin cardboard piece, which I had planned on just painting over!

        That isn't happening.  If the water stains (shown left at the bottom of the photo) had been on wood, I could have maybe sanded them out?  But, because it's like paper, I'll have to replace this piece.  I thought of thicker cardboard, but think it'd be too thick and I thought maybe I could just use painters' canvas, but I think it might be too flimsy and show grainy lines?  So, tomorrow I'm off to the hardware store to find maybe a thin piece of veneer-type wood I can paint on.  I mean...I want it to look nice when it's done, not thrown together right?   Also, I'm still looking at the idea of the mod podging (Heaven's Walk), which I've never done! and need to experiment on something inconsequential first. 

        My point is....what I thought would be done rather quickly is taking much longer than I imagined, but it should only be a few days now!

Like I said "Two Steps Forward, One Step Back!"


          Today had better be a good day!  Yesterday, after painstakingly painting my vanity table for the bedroom for the past 1-1/2 weeks, I decided after lunch to be helpful and since the vanity was on old fashioned casters, I'd just roll it over to where it was going to be placed in the bedroom.  Well, I started to push it a wee bit, got it about a foot away from the starting point and it rolled right over onto the floor and smashed down onto the floor!  I couldn't catch it....  Luckily, none of the three mirrors on it broke or cracked (I thought afterward it was a good thing that Frog Tape was still around the edges of it...that probably helped?).  It's just that the framing of the main, center mirror came away from the actual table section...not right off...just cracked away.  I was almost crying...all that hard work!  Of course, Dan just said "Don't worry, I can fix it for you and you can just paint in the cracked area again."  Really?!  So calm!  I don't know why I do such stupid things...they just happen.  I anyone else like that?  You work so hard to make something perfect and then you pull a stupid-ass move and damage whatever it is?  I do this with recipes sometimes too...usually only when people are coming over to eat of course!  When no one is coming over, we have gourmet meals and nod our heads, moaning, speaking of how we'll make this for company next time they come over.  Hahahaha!  I'll let you know later how it turned out....with photos.

     Something I should probably mention is that I am the person who gets stuck in the lineup at the grocery store because they just ran out of receipt tape in the machine, or the person in front of me is counting out their pennies or needs a price check.  That person......the Murphy's Law person.....that's me!

P.S....Check out 'Decor - Antiques'  for photos beginning to end of my Vanity Table project...including "the accident"!