Sunday, May 31, 2015

Navy and Chevron Outdoor Pillows

It's that time of year where many of us are freshening up our outdoor spaces. Wih tons of pretty patio and porch inspiration on Pinterest and blogs, I have decided on using a navy, white/neutrals and a pop of tuquoise this year.

Today I made some new pillows for the chairs on our front porch. I have been purging and organizing lately, trying to reuse many supplies I already have on hand, including this navy twill fabric. The chevron ribbon is from Michaels and I just sewed it into a loop and slipped it over the pillows. This could easily just be glued or pinned on but I was already at the sewing machine.

I may find a spot for these floral pillows in the backyard. I am still working on outside projects. The concrete needs a power cleaning and I have some accessories and pots of plants to add.

I am enjoying these new pillows though!

I took a bit of an unintentional blog break while I have been working and spending time organizing our home. I'm not finished but it feels good to get rid of stuff, and even better to make money on items we no longer need. I am really looking forward to my summer off from work, just one more month!

I will share more porch photos when I finish (and when it's not raining!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Eat In Kitchen Area and A Birthday Milestone

I am sharing some photos of the eat in area of our kitchen today. The buffet and hutch I recently painted with Fusion mineral based paint in Coal Black is not part of my long term plan, but I do like how fresh it looks now.

I would love hardwood floors in our kitchen but since that isn't reality for us right now I have been making changes that I am really loving. When I painted our main floor last year, I carried the Simply White and Revere Pewter through to our kitchen. To me, those colours make all our rooms look better. I really dislike the ceramic tiles I picked out 17 years ago but the neutral paint colours make them look less terra cotta/pink.

I picked up this buffet and hutch with the intention of painting it and then selling it. Now that it is finished, I am just waiting for it to sell. It is a really nice piece but I have plans for more of an industrial open shelving unit. 

The new stained wood shelves really suit my design style and I plan to sand down and re-stain the kitchen table top to match in Early American. I love the mix of white and wood.

I still want to add some barstools to the high counter and stacks of vintage ironstone and collections to the industrial shelf unit when I find or make one. In the meantime this crock filled with rolling pins sits on a little bench in a corner.

The sliding patio doors to our backyard are to the right in this photo. We moved the light fixture up out of the way while I was painting the cabinet and haven't brought it down yet. I hope to replace it one of these days.

Last week was my 50th birthday and on Saturday my sister hosted a large family bbq to celebrate. I thought it was really sweet that my 85 year old Dad (who depends on others for rides now or gets around town in good weather on his motorized scooter) brought me this bouquet of flowers. 

My kitchen is not perfect but I am grateful for our home and I'm really enjoying seeing all the little changes coming together. Next on my list is to change the cabinet knobs. Thanks for visiting today and I hope you have a great week. We have had a really cool week and today there was a mix of hail, graupel, snow flurries and wet snow on and off all day. I want Spring back!!

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Oak Buffet and Hutch with Fusion Mineral Paint in Coal Black

Black is one of my favourite colours for painted furniture. This past week I updated this solid oak buffet and hutch with Fusion Mineral Paint in Coal Black.

I had been wanting to try Fusion Mineral Paint. Next Time Around in Cambridge, Ontario sells Fusion and the owner emailed me a picture of a similar cabinet done in Coal Black. She suggested leaving the buffet top, beadboard and shelves in the original oak. 

I also kept the interior of the lower section oak as it is in great condition.

Fusion is supposed to have a very durable finish with no top coat needed so I was able to finish this fairly quickly. I used most of the container of paint probably due to the grain in the solid oak.

This is the before, a very solid piece that we got off a neighbour who had it listed on kijiji online classifieds. It is a great size for smaller spaces.

New hardware was added to update it even more.

I added back a vintage scale and a few ironstone pieces. The kitchen table was moved for better photos but it is back in place now and I will share a few photos tomorrow.

While the black better suits our style, this piece is for sale. I am looking for an industrial style metal shelf unit that is wider and shallower to better fit this small eat in space in our kitchen.
 Have you tried Fusion paint?

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Basement Stairway Progress

Our stairway to the basement has seen some progress recently. We painted, added new door hardware, stained the railing and added hooks for coats.

For the coat hooks I used a leftover piece of oak, stained it Early American and added black iron hooks that we already had. I should have picked pine because the small black screws that came with the iron coat hooks kept snapping off in the hard oak. I recruited hubby for some muscle power and he managed to get the broken screws out. We ended up buying different stronger screws and I will cover the heads with black paint. These coat hooks are a great spot for our guys to hang their numerous lumber jackets and work coats. We have a closet in the front entry right beside the front door but the newel post is where their coats end up without these hooks. 

Over a year ago our oldest son Kyle removed the popcorn texture from the ceiling. This was a small and contained area that he was trying for the first time. He has since removed the ceiling texture from the main floor hallway, family and dining rooms. 

He also removed the worn carpeting from the stairs. The upper basement stair treads are a basic pine board and the lower basement stairs are painted pine boards and plywood. We are still deciding how to tackle them.

I painted the walls Cotton Balls White, painted the ceiling and the door to the basement. White works for us because there is no light fixture in this upper basement section and only a single bulb in the lower stair section beyond the door.

I changed the hinges and door handles on the main floor to black. 

I was considering oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickle or pewter but black seems to suit the Shingle-like style of our home. These door levers are from Schlage. Unfortunately black is harder to find and a lot more expensive so I will get to the second floor at a later date.

Kyle spray painted the railing supports and sanded the lower railing. I stained it Early American. We plan to re-stain and paint the railing going upstairs later this year. When we decide on our plans for the stair treads we will pick a matching wood for the landing.

So that is our progress on the upper section so far. I patched the walls on the lower section (from all the hockey bags and furniture going up and down) and will be painting it later. Our home is only 16 years old but it is amazing the wear and tear it gets. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ten Minutes, Spray Paint and a Barn Star For Our Half Bath

We enjoyed a beautiful Easter weekend with family. We are so close to seeing signs of spring but Saturday night brought a fresh 8 cm of snow. Thankfully it has melted again. 

We won't be able to start any outdoor sprucing for another month but we have been organizing indoors, purging and selling home decor pieces. After doing a three way switch on our guest bedroom and both our boys' bedroom I have rooms to paint and lots to organize! 

Our main floor half bath is close to being finished. I decided I could re-use a metal barn star for wall decor by giving it a new colour. Ten minutes, black spray paint and it looks like new! 

I use quite a few barn stars in our decor and I especially like the raised pattern on this one. The solid black makes the raised scroll a bit more subtle. I hung it on the wall opposite the door and it can be seen from the front hall entry.

This was the star in a mantel shelf vignette from 2009. 

Our half bath is coming along nicely. When I painted this bathroom last year (Benjamin Moore Grey Owl) I also painted the ceiling, door and trim. Last month I switched out the circa 1998 shiny brass door knob (and hinges painted over by the builder) for this black Schlage door lever and hinges. 

At $38 (Cdn$) for each door lever and $5 for hinges it wasn't inexpensive but I think it really adds to the style of our home. So far we have the main floor doors completed. We also switched out the door stop to black and re-hung the black iron towel holder and paper holder. We bought a new faucet that needs installed and then we just need to frame the mirror. I will share a final look when the last few items are completed.

I hope you had a pleasant Easter. Is your area enjoying Spring weather or beginning to show signs of Spring?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter and Happy Passover

Wishing you and your loved ones, wherever you may be, a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover.

"The risen Christ is celebrated in every opened flower, in every beam of nourishing sunlight,
in every humble patch of green beneath our feet. Easter blessings."

"May you be blessed with happiness, prosperity, peace and good health on Pesach and always! 
Happy Passover."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

MMSMP Ironstone Table A Year in The Making

Have you ever had one of those projects that you gave up on because it just wasn't working out? I gave up on this little table for a year before taking it back out and trying one last time to finish it. I am kind of impatient sometimes.

I have painted a variety of furniture pieces using many different paint brands and even homemade chalky like paints using latex and plaster of paris. This was my first time using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. I bought a package of Ironstone powder, MMS bonding agent, and a little battery operated mixer. 

I started by cleaning and lightly sanding this little pine table. It was a kijiji find with dated stenciling and a worn finish.

After watching several videos and reading up on the do's and don'ts I mixed up my first small batch. I tried it on a small area but I made it too watery and lumpy so I ended up dumping it out and starting again. For the next batch I used the little electric whisk. Too bubbly and watery. In my frustration I ended up breaking the safety lid off the bonding agent container. My third attempt was better and I painted two coats on the table. I had to work out some small lumps but at least I didn't make it too watery this time. The lessons here: don't throw out a batch, keep working on it, let any bubbles settle a bit, you can always add a little more paint powder or a little more water, and most importantly don't be impatient like me! Due to my impatience and inexperience with the product, I put the table away for awhile. Okay, just over a year. 

We have been organizing and selling/purging items in our home recently and I decided to give this little table one last chance. There was only a bit of the Ironstone MMSMP left in the package but it mixed up nicely this time and there was just enough to add the last two coats. I skipped the bonding agent this time (remember I had broken the safety lid off and couldn't open it.)  There were only a few tiny spots of chipping and cracked paint so I helped with some distressing. I also very lightly hand sanded any small bumps. Finally I waxed it.

The waxing gave it a super nice feel and finish. I plan to buy a glass knob on my next visit to the hardware store.

For my Spring Dining Room tour I added a black knob from my stash. I may end up selling this piece but for now it displays a simple Easter vignette.

My intent in sharing my mishaps with the product is not to complain, but to explain that a bit of practice and patience certainly helps. I wish I had not gotten frustrated because I could easily have finished this little table a year ago. I could probably have painted more than one piece with a whole package too. Ironstone truly is a lovely colour. 

Happy April friends! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit. Have you ever had a furniture painting project not work out? Were you able to rescue it?