design inspired

Orange You Glad I Did? A Chair Rescue

 

Hey friends! Enjoying this beeee-utiful sunshine? Me too!

Well the blogosphere has been a-buzz with spring home tours, creative and oh-so-cute Easter crafts and beautiful tablescapes.

Me? Not so much.

I’ve been on a rescue mission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can I say? I am a sucker for a sad, neglected piece of furniture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this one said ‘I could be pretty, if you want me’. How could I say no?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s just be honest, she had me at $7.99.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her shoes needed to be replaced…

 

 

 

 

 

 

She needed a little filler here and there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

…And a good exfoliation

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of coats of paint later and she’s a beautiful pop of sunshine colour!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truth is, she was a beautiful chair in her rough state. But like any rescue, a little love and attention and she turned into the real beauty that she always was.

design inspired

Shopping Your House – A Mudroom Makeover

 

Do you have a room that is just womp womp womp?

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Yep. This hallway / mudroom.

*sigh*

Awkward, half hidden and turning into a dumping ground, this mudroom / hallway was sooo overdue for a makeover. (note the wall depth on the left is deeper than on the right.)

But you know how these things go – a proverbial can of worms.

And that can of worms? It’s never inexpensive, no matter how hard you try.

So how do you make a change, a refresh, a mini makeover for next to nothing?

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Shop your house.

You heard me right. Shop your house for items you already have.

Hold onto your undies my friends; this makeover was a grand total of $51.36!!

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My ‘slight’ paint addiction means I have a healthy stash of paint in the basement. In this case, Benjamin Moore’s Collingwood was leftover from the main floor refresh earlier in the year.

The wallpaper was leftover from another project in the house.

Four of the hooks were recycled from the original coat rack in the mudroom.

The deer head has been patiently waiting to be hung since it was removed from another room’s refresh.

So what did I buy new? The barn board, screws, one hook, the wire basket and a new vent cover. That’s it!

$51.36 for a new room that actually functions?

Yes please!

 

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I have not been compensated in any way for products or materials used. All opinions are my own.

 

 

random thoughts

That’s A Wrap – Looking Back At 2017

 

Hey there! Did you think I forgot about you? Never. C’mon in. Grab a coffee, tea (or me? Ha!) and let’s catch up.

First … Merry belated Christmas and Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! I hope you had an amazing time however you spent it. Whether it was with family, friends or in your favourite happy place, I hope you were able to sit back for a moment and count your blessings.

I’m not usually a retrospective person but 2017 was a pretty amazing year for me….

For starters, I didn’t kill my kids and didn’t take a vacation to ‘a nice, relaxing ‘spa like’ home’…!! Ha! Before you get judgey, keep in mind that I have twin teenaged BOYS – who systematically burp and fart their way through every room while leaving a trail of smelly socks that could peel the paint from the walls. And despite my best intentions and efforts (aka nagging), manners are not part of a teenaged boys repertoire. They are freaks and I love them. One day they’ll do me proud – fingers crossed!!

 

2017 started out with the decision to get off the pot and actually do what I had been humming and hawing about. Ta Da! The domain names were purchased and this little blog was on its way to reality.

 

 

 

I started volunteering at my new happy place; a farm animal sanctuary called Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. Maybe you’ve heard of it? I could go on and on for pages and pages but a picture is worth a thousand words…

Which led to my decision to transition to a solely plant based/vegan diet. I’m a work in progress and it’s been a great journey so far. I have no regrets other than I wish I’d done it sooner.

I celebrated a milestone birthday. No freak outs. No crying into a bowl of ice cream. Instead I went wall climbing, laughed my butt off (oh, how I wish it was that easy!! Ha!) and enjoyed every minute of the day.

 

 

 

And my present to myself? Hitting the publish button that turned A Fox With 4 Socks into reality.

 

 

I attended my first blogging conference. While it didn’t go nearly as well as I’d hoped, I did learn a thing or two and met a couple of great ladies whom I still keep in touch with. Not sure whether I’ll attend this year’s conference or not. Who knows, maybe we’ll make it a conference/family vacay?

 

 

 

 

I got a tattoo – because I’m a bad ass.

 

 

 

 

Late autumn brought a last minute impromptu trip to England to see my sister. I was so lucky to share it with my Dad.

 

 

 

Not a lot of sightseeing but some great quality time together.

 

 

 

 

Oh, and I discovered I like cider – a lot!

 

 

 

We finished the year up with a very long, overdue trip to northern Ontario to spend Christmas with Scoob’s side of the family. While not all of the kids were there, it was so great to spend time with them, their families and meet the newest grandnephew. Geez! Does that ever make me feel old….

 

 

Christmas was all about spoiling the kids – and throwing in some creative wrapping!

 

 

 

So, while my year may not have been full of fireworks exciting as some, for me it was pretty fantabudabby amazingily great!

Wishing you a fandoozily 2018 full of surprises, many adventures, love and peace.

Sue

crafts

Driftwood Sign

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Summer Round Up – Part 3

Drifting Away

Hello friends and welcome back. We’re wrapping up the Summer Round Up with another easy project. One I hope, will inspire and bring back fond memories of the summer. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, you can go here and here to catch up.

I know that posting the last of the Summer Round Up in October seems, well, odd, but there are loads of people who close up their camps, trailers and cottages just after Thanksgiving. And, as we’ve had the most glorious of early fall weather, many have taken advantage of stretching out those lazy, late summer days into early autumn.

With closing down of summer properties, there is always fall maintenance which includes inspection, repairs and possibly removal of docks. That’s where today’s project comes from. An ooooh so lovely piece of driftwood that washed ashore, probably from a dock once upon a time.

So get out there and scour the waters edge. It could be a piece of dock like ours, or perhaps it’s a well worn branch, smoothed over by pebbles on the shore. Whatever flotsam you pick, you can find inspiration in it’s beauty.

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Gather your supplies together:

  • light grey and black paint
  • rags/paper towels
  • pots for mixing paint
  • paintbrushes – including a finer one for details
  • carbon paper

Grab your driftwood and brush off any bits of debris – sand, dried plant material, etc. Make sure the wood is really dry all the way through. Mix up or use light grey paint. I used leftover Country Chic chalk paint in Lazy Linen with enough water added in to make a milk-like consistency. DO make sure to mix up enough paint … you do not want to run out half way through!

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In smallish sections, brush on your watered down paint and then quickly rag off. This allows the beauty of the wood to come through while allowing you to layer up the colour if needed. Let dry for several hours.

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From your computer, print out a saying or word that reminds you of your summer. Play around with the fonts and sizes of letters to give it interest or emphasize the meaning. Individually cutting the words out and spacing them along your find can add even more interest.

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With carbon paper behind your words, trace out the letters.

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Mix up a darker colour paint for the words. I used Lazy Linen mixed with Craftsmart chalky acrylic black paint and a little bit of water to achieve a smoky grey colour. Again, make enough to finish painting all your words! 🙂 Thinning with a bit of water stops the paint from ‘sitting’ on top of the wood and allows it to soak in a bit. Use your detail brush to fill in the letters.

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Don’t overthink this. Use whatever colours you want. Free hand the letters if you want. Let the beauty of the wood inspire your creativity!

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And. You’re. Done. Taa Daaaaahhhh!

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I hope you enjoyed the Summer Round Up series. Until next time, be creative and stay inspired!

 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I have not received compensation in any form for any products used in this post. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

 

 

 

crafts

Feather String Art

Summer Round Up – Part 2

All Strung Out

Welcome back to my Summer Round Up! I hope you gave ‘This Way To The Lake’ a go. If not, you can go here to catch up! I’ve got you covered for another crafty installment of summer time reminiscing.

I’m gonna be straight with you. This project is much more time consuming. But don’t let that put you off. This is one that again, you can opt out of a step or two without impacting the overall look. It’s just a preference thing. It’s also one that you can start and stop at any time. Part of it you can do while watching your favourite show – or football. Whatevs! I will also warn you that you will feel like a demented woodpecker! Haha!

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The Summer Round Up series is inspired by crafts reminiscent of our childhood, woven with memories of our summer. Today we’re reliving the ‘70’s with string art. Now before you turn away, remember we are being inspired and putting our own modern twist to it.

What kid hasn’t found a bird’s feather and pocketed it? I love the shapes and hues of feathers. The beauty of this subject is that you can make it look as realistic or fanciful as you want, simple colours, brights, metallics or patterns. They sky and your imagination are limitless.

Ready? Let’s gather our supplies:

  • Wooden board (soft wood)
  • Hammer
  • ½” wire nails 19 gauge (I found these in Walmart’s hardware section)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Embroidery floss
  • Clear nail polish
  • Fine point scissors
  • Optional – stain, polyurethane, paint, tissue paper, picture hangers, tweezers

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I’ll leave the size and type of wooden board up to you. Why? Let’s not be too literal here. I want you to use your creativity. Maybe you have a piece of barn board begging to be used (and if you’re not using it, can I have it??!!). Or maybe the idea you have would look great with a painted background. Or maybe you have a little case of OCD and want to be able to dust it with ease (not that I would know anything about that….:|) So, use whatever you like, just make sure it’s a soft kind of wood like pine to make hammering in nails easier. I stained and then polyed my board.

Cut a piece of paper the same size as your board and sketch out your pattern. Add colours and patterns. This will be your reference drawing.

Do as I say and not as I did! Using Tracing Paper, copy the outline and tape it to your board. You will be hammering the nails into this copy on the board.

Use the pliers to hold the nail in place and hammer away. The width of the plier tip is a great depth for the nails and will ensure all your nails end up at the same height. Just try holding one of the nails while hammering. Yeah, you’re welcome! The more nails you use, the more detailed your image will be. Just make sure you space your nails as evenly as possible (eyeball it). Follow your outline. Depending on how detailed your image is I strongly suggest you remove the tissue paper now!

Because the end of the feather had wispy edges, I needed the paper to make sense of the nail outline. Hindsight is a wonderful thing…. I should have removed the paper after the initial threading of the wispy edges. *sigh*

To tie the embroidery thread to the nail, I made a loop with a long tail. Tighten the loop to the nail, dab a little nail polish on the thread and then complete the knot. The nail polish helps the thread from slipping and keeps it tight while you complete the knot. Cut the tail off as close to the knot as possible and dab the knot again with nail polish.

Because my image was a feather, I wanted very straight, clean lines just like the individual filaments. This required a little fore thought to where I started each colour, and how I looped and what direction I looped the thread in.

This does not mean that if you chose a feather pattern as well, you need to be so precise. In fact, I encourage you to try it another way. Generally speaking, you loop your thread around one nail and then somewhat higgledy piggely loop to another and then another. You may even loop around a nail more than once. That’s the beauty of this kind of art. You really can’t mess it up. And if you don’t like the pattern you’ve created with the thread, it’s easy enough to unloop and start again. You want the thread to cross over and overlap each other. Do this for each colour if you have more than one

I know it hasn’t escaped you that you are (possibly) looping thread over a piece of tissue paper, basically trapping it. Remember when I said use tissue paper? Well I didn’t. Trying to rip regular paper out from between tiny nails and not disturb the thread required the use of tweezers and a whooooooole lotta patience!

Once you’ve finished looping, and cursing me if you didn’t heed my earlier advice, stand back and admire your amazing craftiness! You rocked it! I knew you could. And you didn’t even get strung out….. !

 

crafts

This Way To The Lake Canvas

Summer Roundup – Part 1

This Way To The Lake Canvas

 

Well, we have officially finished the first full week of school here. Raise your hand if a) you have sung “It’s The Most Wonderful Day of The Year” at least once, b) you are sick of making lunches already c) found yourself wandering the wine aisle at the grocery store…. Hahahaha! Don’t judge. Welcome back to the reality grind!

The weather turned cooler in the last couple of weeks and the evenings and mornings are definitely chilly. Although this week was unseasonably warm (and I am NOT complaining in the least!), I thought with summer coming to a close, it might be fun to do a roundup of sorts. Easy crafts that are reminiscent of summer activities, memories and those found treasures along the way; all cottage, lake and camp inspired.

We didn’t make it up to a lake this year but I know many of you did. Despite not being cottagers or boaters, I have always enjoyed simple décor pieces with lake themes. There’s something very comforting in water inspired colour schemes and activities associated with summertime lake living. Todays DIY pays homage to the simple word “LAKE”.

As always, I hope to inspire your creativity. This is a project that anyone can do, with or without special tools. Today I am going old school because I wanted this to have a slightly rustic feel. If you are a little OCD and NEED perfection, you could use a Cricut or the like, or less techy you could simply use store bought vinyl letters. OK, let’s get started!

You will need:

·         A wooden canvas. These can be found in various sizes from DeSerres art supply stores or in my case, a ‘dollar store’

·         At least two colours of paint, one light and one dark and any other colour for accents

·         Carbon paper and pencil or vinyl letters

 

If using an inexpensive canvas, prep your board by giving it a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. Often the cheaper ones have a slightly rougher finish. Give it a good wipe down to get rid of the dust.

 

Paint the top and sides of your wooden canvas using the lighter colour. I used Fusion mineral paint in Lamp White (leftover from another project). While this is drying, let’s move on to the next step…

 Total aside, can I just tell you that you should have a box of Glad Press and Seal in your paint box arsenal. This stuff is absolutely brilliant for covering and sealing paint brushes and rollers while you are in the middle of a project. This stuff really keeps the air out and can be used again and again until that project is finished. Greatest. Invention. Ever.

 Using the computer, I typed out the word LAKE, arranging the letters LA over KE. Use whatever word works for you – ROW, OAR, BOAT – you get the idea! Enlarge the letters to whatever size works best for your canvas. In this case, I think I enlarged them to around 48 pt. I also printed out an image of a paddle/oar. Again, enlarge this to fit your canvas. I wanted the paddle to be wider than the letters.

 

 

You may need to do a little cutting and taping to get your letters and oar in the position you want them. Once you’ve got your layout done, place the carbon paper dark side down on the canvas followed by your print layout. Use painter’s tape to secure it to the board.

 

 

 

Trace over your letters and oar. Remove the layout and carbon papers – I always find this part exciting!


 

Ta Daaaa!!

 

 

Using your darker colour and a fine tipped paint brush, outline with paint around your words and oar, then paint the rest of your canvas. I used Fusion mineral paint in Liberty Blue (again, leftover from another project). I recommend two coats to get a good contrast between light and dark. When your paint is dry, embellish your oar/paddle with different colours and patterns. I used triangles to give the impression of the paddle acting as an arrow (Fusion paint in Tuscan Orange).

 

And that’s it! How easy is that?? Leave your canvas as is or use your artistic license to age it. You could go over it with a tinted wax or sand it slightly to give it a weathered look. However you choose to finish it, display it with pride and remember those lazy, hazy days of summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I have not received any kind of compensation for any products, brands or services mentioned in this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

gardening

Peony Party

You guys! It’s been far too long. No really, I missed you! Can you even believe it’s officially summer? Gaaahhhh! Someone hit the snooze button on the summer clock because time is just flying by!

Apparently I didn’t see the Go Slow sign that spring was just around corner. I sped right past it. Put the pedal to the metal and floored it right to the end, took a sharp right and screeched to a halt right before Summerville.

I had taken a few photos back in April when I was visiting Mount Pleasant Cemetery. I had never been there before and was awed at how beautiful it was. I wish time had of permitted, I would have loved to have taken a stroll, so many beautiful trees in the early stages of spring budding.

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And the light. There is something almost tangible about spring light. And the warmth, that curl up like a cat in a pool of warm light.

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I guess I must have slowed down a bit to catch sight of it. But life has a way with stepping on the gas. You get busy with one thing and then another, and before you know it another season has come and gone.

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With April’s sunshine and warmth ending, May brought with it, what felt like, never ending clouds and rain. So much rain. And with the rain came the flooding – in my basement. My creative hub was in a state of such upheaval that none of the projects I had wanted to start were going anywhere.

And while I was huddled up inside, cursing the river that ran through my basement, a party was brewing up outside. I wasn’t invited. It was private, but I snuck a peek.

The peonies were partying.

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They started the dance with a reach for the sky stretch, followed by an explosive display of leaves and buds. But the highlight was this display of beautiful blooms.

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So short lived, I nearly missed it.

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A couple of heavy rains the following week and that was it. The Peony Party was over.

But I hear the music playing again. I’m not missing the next party….

The Hydrangeas are having a Hoopla…

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To quote Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. Before you know it the roses will be having a rave! Happy week everyone!