A tray table makeover, how to turn souvenirs into decor and cottage updates

As the title suggests this post is a little meandering :-)

So first off, I had a busy back to work week, but I’m so excited to share an Ottawa Citizen interview I did recently that has been published online this past weekend. It’s on how to turn vacation souvenirs into decor items that will fit with your home’s style and decor.  And yes, that’s my powder room featured with some Paris vacation photos turned into art.

Read it here.  

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In my last post, I mentioned that I had done a few DIY projects at the cottage, while on vacation.  Well, here’s another one.  I was a bad blogger and forgot to get a before photo but trust me, it looked just like this but with a totally damaged top (due to being left out in the rain one evening…d’oh).

 

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I sanded the top and even smoothed on some polyfil to try and even it out.  I then painted it all over, with some of my leftover Fat paint in a custom blue that I used for my bathroom vanity.

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I did paint the legs after this photo was taken.

I knew I wanted to do some sort of pattern or stencil on the top but hadn’t figured out what, until I was inspired by some pretty striped fabric I saw.

So out came the painters tape and some little jars of sample paints that I have hanging around, that I thought would go together well.   And, I just randomly laid down the tape some with thicker stripes and some with thinner stripes.

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Then I just painted some lines.

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The first pass turned out like this.

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Not quite enough stripes, so I added more tape and kept painting.  I also fixed up any little boo boos.  You can nicely see the tree shadow on this one, as I was painting outside on the deck.

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My final step was giving it two coats of semi gloss varnish to protect the top, as I fully intend to use this tray for serving drinks and snacks on the deck :-)

Ta Da!

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And hubby made a ton of progress on the glass railing.  I am so happy to see the old, rotting wood railing gone, I actually couldn’t stop smiling all day!  We are really hoping to have this part finished up soon.  Just one more side to do, that will have to wait for next year’s budget.

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Lisa

Making over a piano stool

After a long and somewhat restful holiday, I’m back.  I hope you have been enjoying your summer, even if you have been having rather questionable summer weather, like we have in Ottawa.

I didn’t entirely rest during my holiday at my cottage, as there is always lots to do there, but we did get more down time in this summer, as compared to previous years.  And I’m excited that we will be continuing the three year long process of replacing the rustic log deck railing (that is literally falling apart) with more of the modern aluminium and glass railing that we started last year.  It’s part of my quest to have pieces that are less maintenance,  I’m sure it will eventually pay off :-)

Hubby spent most of his time working on some exterior plumbing and yearly roof maintenance and I was happy to get a few more painting projects done.  I even managed to buy another item that needed some love, as if I didn’t have enough items already around to refinish or repaint.  It all started when my daughters came up for the weekend and we made a little trip to Renfrew. We popped into Pick-it-fence, which is such a great store,  and managed to find ourselves in the second hand area at the back of the store. I just couldn’t resist this adorable little piano stool.

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I just can’t seem to resist a little stool, as I always see it as double duty piece, a stool and/or a side table.  So, home it came.  My daughter immediately said it had to be the same happy colour as the small china cabinet that I recently refinished.  Read about that makeover here.

And so with those instructions, I was off.  I didn’t even give it a sanding as it was in good shape and I think the white paint was pretty recent.  So out came the latex paint (I didn’t transform it into chalk paint this time) and with a soft brush I gave it two thorough coats of paint.  Easy as pie!

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For it’s first job it got to hold my cup of tea and the last of the cupcakes from our weekend celebration :-)

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I love that it can be either a stool or a little table, and predict that it will be well used.  A pretty and practical piece, in a bright and happy colour!

Lisa

A fire table and a photo gallery wall

Well, I’m happy to report that the fire table was up and running this past weekend, just in time for our wonderful avalanche of guests for the next month.  Click here to see my previous post which shows our inspiration for the table.

We christened it on Saturday night with some good friends and a little bit of Prosecco, they were kind enough to bring.

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Here’s a little better shot of it the next morning.  My hubby did such a great job of it.  I picture many evenings here with a glass of wine….sigh….

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So totally in love with it, but a little disconcerting when later Saturday night, the bugs just kept flying right into the flames.  We are now nicknaming it,  the insect crematorium :-)

And on another note, I’ve started a photo gallery wall in the upstairs  hall.  It’s been a long time coming, since I wanted to do it ever since we moved in.  Keep in mind that it is just in the beginning stages and it will be added to in the years to come, as it’s a very long hall.  My friend, Mary Anne was kind enough to donate some of her antique finds and I thought they would be a great addition to the gallery wall.  I always like to mix it up and not just have photos and artwork on a gallery wall.

Here’s my process, first I trace the outline of the frames on to newspaper and then cut them out.  With painters tape I arrange them on the wall.  This way you can change it up until you like what you see.  Much easier than putting a huge amount of nails in the wall.  This picture was taken after I had already hung some new frames, I did use the newspaper trick for them as well, just didn’t get a shot of it :-/

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And the semifinished wall. Sorry for the blurred out faces but I just don’t feel right posting pictures of my kids on the internet.

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I’m off to help out my son and his fiancé, with their own art gallery wall tonight. Should be fun!

Lisa

Beachy caribbean blue china cabinet makeover

Hope you had a great Canada Day my fellow Canadians and, to my American readers, hope your Independence Day is fabulous!

We had such great hot weather here that it was hard to get all the jobs done but I did get this accomplished.   I’m thrilled with the little brightness it adds to this dark corner.

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If you don’t remember this is how it looked before the mini makeover.

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Such a cute little cabinet but it needed a happy colour!  P.S. Sorry for the all the reflections, it’s really hard to take a picture of a glass cabinet with three windows reflecting all around it.  You can even see my purple floral sundress that I was wearing when I took the photos :-)

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And it brightens up this corner perfectly.  And if you were really paying attention, you’ll notice that I also changed out the hardware.  I had a cute crystal knob on hand that I used on the top door. But for the bottom I decided on a tiny brass knob instead of the larger crystal one, it just seemed a tad too big on the bottom door).  I also had great fun styling it.

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Some faux coral, a pretty glass aqua starfish, a little white canister from Indigo to add some texture and a trio of small blue bottles I picked up in California last year.  I may add some blooms to them as well.

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And last but not least a glass dome with some green moss and a few seashells to add to the beachy theme.

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P.S. Since a lot of people asked, I thought I would include the recipe for homemade chalk paint that I used for this piece and in these furniture makeovers as well – China Hutch and Buffet (click on the name to read those posts).

Here’s the recipe (which I found online here).

Homemade Chalk Paint

2 cups of latex paint (I used eggshell) in the colour of your choice
5 tbsp plaster of paris
1 1/2 tbsp cool water (the original recipe calls for 3 tbsp, I like the thicker version of the paint)
Mix the plaster of paris with the water, stir thoroughly till there are no lumps.  Then add latex paint and mix completely. It should be just as smooth as the plain paint when you started.
 

The beauty of chalk paint is that very little prep is needed.  I very lightly sanded the piece because it was so dark and then I used a small foam roller to apply two coats of the chalk paint.  For the tight areas I used a tiny foam brush, letting the first coat dry for about an hour.  I then let it dry completely for a few days, before I applied  The Fat Paint Company Wax in antique.  I spread a very light coat  over the entire surfaces, buffing it to a shine, after waiting 10 minutes.  After a half an hour,  I used The Fat Paint Company Wax in natural,  to cover the entire piece and buff it to a shine, once dry.  If more shine is desired, another coat of wax can be used.  It goes on so nice and easy with a clean dry cloth.

If you have any other questions, I’d be happy to answer them to the best of my amateur painter ability :-)

Lisa

Exterior cottage love going on

Well, now with the warmer weather finally here, at least in my neck of the wood, I hope you are enjoying it. School is almost out and I’m sure that is a relief to end all the lunch making, homework checking and routine. Here’s to a great summer for everyone!

I have a bit of progress to report at the cottage.  Hubby has been determined to get the fire table finished, so here’s where we are now, and by we I really mean him.  I’ve done nothing, except help with the design and the finishes…of course :-)   Can’t wait to try it out.

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And I received my fabric order from a few weeks back, so I’ll be sewing up a storm, whenever I can get a second.  These will be exterior cushions for the cottage deck.   Can’t wait for them to liven up the wood chairs, wood deck and log exterior of the cottage….you get the idea…so much wood…and so0000 much brown.

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And kind of another exterior update, Hubby got the terracotta tile laid in the sunroom, right at the entrance to the deck.  It still needs to be grouted, I’ll share the progress once it is completed.  He’s been a busy, busy, boy.

While he was working away, I kept myself busy making over this lovely little china cabinet that a neighbour gifted to me.  I know it’s not really related to the cottage exterior theme of this post, but I’d thought I’d share it anyways.  It’s a perfect fit in this somewhat dark corner of the cottage, so I decided it should be a nice bright colour to liven up the corner.  This is how it looked:

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And in the process:

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I told you it was bright….and quite lively.  I used homemade chalk paint (Cyan Sky) and I will be giving it a going over with some antique wax (which will tone it down a little) and then of course, some clear wax to finish it properly.  I love, love, Fat Wax in case you are looking for a recommendation. Check out their website for locations near you.  I’ll post a picture once it’s completed, hopefully soon.

We also went to the Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour a few weeks ago. I posted about it last year, when all the TBBs went.  Hubby got an adorable candy dish for his office (sorry forget to snap a pic before he went off with it) but I did get this great shot of an old barn on one of the properties.  There is just something about old, timeworn barns that appeals to me.

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Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and an

early Happy Fourth of July, to my American readers!  

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Lisa