Winter Fun

While I may at times dream of warmer weather, I like to be reminded of why I enjoy the change of seasons and weather we experience here in Ontario. Even winter.
 Winter driving to and from work, even just to the grocery store, can be challenging some days. And what were we thinking when we chose my vehicle with leather seats. Rock hard frozen, morning, noon and night until the seat heater warms them up. Especially during the cold spell we just had. It was so cold I was inspired to knit a hat and four scarves in 2 weeks. Right after I bought a new black parka. I  keep a coat in the car for emergencies, but normally drive to and from work in a hoodie and insulated vest. But I bought the parka and have had to wear it more than I care to.
Our kids love when we get fresh snow. When we haven't had a lot of accumulation, like this week with the milder temps, they really enjoy when we travel a bit further north to visit family who live in the 'snowbelt'.
At our local park toboggan hill my kids wear snowboarding helmets and goggles (after a run in with ice two years ago), but on their cousin's gentle yard slope, no helmets needed.
We also spend several hours a week at the arena. Both our boys, and my niece, play hockey.
Family skate at our local arena is fun too.
We are really looking forward to following the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC in February.
On tv...in our nice warm home...in front of the fireplace...
Now if only I had a huge mudroom for all the wet boots, winter sports equipment, smelly hockey bags, and piles of coats, snowpants, mitts and hats. Oh, and really cute hooks for my new scarves. Have a great week.


A Ruffled Skirt Office Chair

My hobby room projects are getting done one by one. I changed the fabric on this office chair several weeks ago, but added the ruffled skirt to give it a little personality.

Below is the chair when we were given it {free!}. It functioned well but the arms needed a good cleaning and the gray fabric doesn't fit in our home. I unscrewed the arms and gave them a good soapy scrub and they cleaned up well. I picked up some black denim with a bit of stretch in the fabric for $4 a metre. The seat and arms were unscrewed and upholstered with a staple gun. 
The back of the chair would not unscrew easily so I made a bit of a slipcover and then used the staple gun to close it at the bottom.

Part of making over my hobby room involves sorting through fabric and organizing my supplies. I also want to update a few things I already have. I decided to take the time to hem and gather a long strip of the fabric and hot glue it to the chair. This project cost less than $8. Not bad for a free chair.

I will be linking to the following parties:
Edited to Add: I'm also joining in SNS # 43 Old Chairs special theme party. Be sure to stop by.

Make Your Monday at Twice Remembered Cottage.

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you visit again soon.

For the love of QUILTS

I painted over a sign I picked up at a yard sale with acrylic craft paint.
Printed some lettering on the computer.
Coloured all over the BACK of the sheets with pencil, trimmed them to fit and taped them to the sign. Pressing hard, I traced the letters to transfer the letters to the sign.
Then I filled in the pencil lines with black paint.
Distressed the edges with my 3M sanding block.
I think it still needs some glaze to age it a bit. It is a creamy colour that didn't show in these photos.
This sign will go in my hobby room. I hope it inspires me to produce more of these:
A Santa wall hanging made from a panel kit.
A scrappy twin quilt with a Northwoods feel for our guest room in the basement.
A twin sized denim quilt made from recycled jeans also for our guest room in our basement.
The very first quilt I made, a well faded full-size log cabin quilt.
An advent calendar from a fabric panel.
A flannel runner for the entry hall table and a matching small throw in lovely little plaids.
Now if only I had a bigger fabric stash:)

I'm linking to SNS#14 at Funky Junk Interiors. Please stop by to see Donna's fabulous blog and to check out all the participants.

And to Cindy's Cottage Instincts Make it For Monday. Be sure to stop by and check out all the participants.


Attacking my Studio

I've been busy painting today.
My hobby room, our fourth bedroom upstairs, is getting a facelift. The new paint is the darker taupe colour and the previous lace something colour is just visible to the right of the ladder. It is a custom mix (a mistint, a white and some leftover paint from our family room) and I think the colour turned out well in real life. The colour in the photo is not accurate because the old sheet on the table is actually a bright yellow. We started last year by picking up some used kitchen cabinets and anchoring them to the wall. We had to split them up because studs were not where we needed them to be. My husband and I put them up on our own and although they are well achored, we are new at hanging cabinets.
A before:
I will be adding beadboard wallpaper, as Rhoda did, to the sides of the cabinets and adding some trim before I paint them.
Another before of the paper/scrapbook area:
I plan to paint the cabinets 'Cloud White' by Benjamin Moore in late spring when it warms up enough to sand and paint outside. If I become impatient, I may sand them in the garage on a fairly warm day, and bring them indoors to paint.
This pine shelf will be painted Cloud White and distressed.
I'll use aqua and turquoise to paint some pieces and many other accessories are already black. I will be spending very little money because I'll be using many things I already have. Organizing my supplies is always an important part of the process for me. I like to be able to find my 'things' but I have learned I create best with a tidy space. Putting most supplies behind closed doors will be a big step in the right direction. I may use this large Amish print on the wall, a favourite of mine and much more suited to the room where I quilt.
I had better get back to painting because the above fireplace wall in the family room is on our list. Oh, what to do with that off center fireplace?!!!! (Besides painting out the brass)
I'm joining Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special. Thanks Donna!


Guest Post At Sense and Simplicity

My friend Grace at Sense and Simplicity has invited me to do a post for her summer series of Mondays’ guest posts. She sent some great questions to choose from and I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about me. Thanks Grace!What inspires you more - the mountains or the ocean?

The mountains! I have always been attracted to movies, art and design with a mountain or rocky setting. I'm very fond of rustic. I love rocks and trees. I love the textures and colours. Growing up we spent a lot of time in the outdoors in Northern Ontario and I think that has a lot to do with it. Even better would be a lake in the mountains. I love inland lake beaches. The HGTV dream home is always in my inspiration file. I love the building structure, the scenery and many of the decor choices.
Images: HGTV DREAM HOME 2009

If you could choose would you like a personal assistant, a personal chef, a gardener, or a chauffeur?
Definitely a personal chef! I like to dabble in my garden and it is on the small side, so no personal gardener needed here. Organizing is near and dear to my heart, so no personal assistant required. I drive all the time, to work and travelling with the family and actually chuckle at friends who avoid the 400 series highways here in Ontario. But a chef would be a dream. I would love to have someone tailor a healthy menu for us and cook great food all the time.

What are 3 colours you love and do you have them in both your home and your wardrobe?
 I really believe the old advice that says to look to your closet to see what colours, and often textures, you can live with comfortably in your home. My three favourite colours are blue, blue and blue. Oh, three different colours. Do white, off white, black, tan and brown count? Of course I have other colours in my closet, some pink, red, and greens, but blue, black and white are predominant. Lots of shades of blue. If I was to translate the materials of the items in my closet to my home it would be denim, cotton, twill, and leather. I'm a casual kind of girl!

Image: Wrangler
Image: Buffalo jeans

If you could live in a house anywhere in the world for one month - where would it be and what type of house?
A beautiful Timber Frame home in the west. Timber Frame is my favourite architectural style. I would love to have one built one day and fill it with all kinds of leather and wood and white. I would love to spend a month on a working ranch in Alberta or Montana. My kids and hubby could do the work though, I would just soak up all the beauty and maybe mess around with some baking in the kitchen. Or The Pioneer Woman's home and ranch! Farm animals, a lodge and a dream kitchen all in one.

 Above 2 images: The Pioneer Woman

If you could have one decorator help you work on your house who would it be and why?
Sarah Richardson, and her budget of course! I would love her help in getting the look I want in our home. Sort of a rustic lakeside farmhouse feel. Phew, that was a mouthful! I really admire both her Georgian Bay cottage and the farmhouse in the Collingwood/southern Georgian Bay area. Partly because both of those locations are near and dear to us. I also love that both those homes have a collected feel and are not showroom matchy. I adore quilts and pine furniture and always have.

 If you could fill your home with furniture from only one store, what store would it be?
I would love to shop at Ethan Allen, http://www.ethanallen.com/. Buying one good piece there would be a treat, but to fill my home with furniture from Ethan Allen would be so much fun. I especially like the New Country series.
A friend gave me one of their design catalogs, a book really, and I refer to it often. I also visit their website just for ideas or inspiration. Just for fun, here are some of the pieces I would choose:
Above 4 images: Ethan Allen

What is the oldest item in your home?
Besides hubby and I? ;) Probably an old Canadian sideboard a relative gave to my mom. The inside is really cool, old cherry is my guess. The original little casters are on it, but it could use some new hardware. It was refinished many years ago but I plan to strip it to the original wood and maybe wax it. I like that it is a piece that can be used in different rooms for different uses. It has been in our dining room and family room for baking pan storage and now it's being used as a TV stand. We have upcoming plans for a flat screen and some detail to highlight this area.