6th Photo Blog Game

My friend Grace from Sense and Simplicity has asked me to join in a little bloggy game. We are to post the 6th photo we ever posted to our blogs. So here goes:

I sewed a white denim slipcover for a little ottoman I was given. No  pattern, just pin and pin and tuck and the little ruffled skirt was added. One of those pieces that is easily moved from room to room in our home, it was then in our bedroom and is currently in our living room. I know some people, like me, love white denim slipcovers, and some are really against them. They work for us, even with our kids and their sports and farm activities, nieces and nephews and greats too. It washes like a charm, too.

Thanks, Grace for the invitation and for being such a great bloggy friend!
Now I need "to pass this on to seven other bloggers so they too can look into their files and show us their 6th photo and tell us its story." It was fun looking back to discover what photo the sixth one actually was. So, if you have the time, join the fun! No pressure of course:

Andrea at Rural Revival
Cynthia at ITTLDO
Sharon at Sharon at Home
and last but not least Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Of course if your name is not here and you want to join in, go ahead!
Happy Weekend!


More Backyard Inspiration

Lots of time was spent this week searching the internet for more ideas for our patio seating and dining. The weather is beginning to warm up and I need to get busy getting our backyard ready for summer.

image:Country Living

I love the photo above. It is no secret that I love Muskoka chairs (aka Adirondack). Love them. A few years ago we scored a croquet set for $2 from a neighbour's garage sale. No little croquet stand though. I'll have to get creative.
I posted about some plans for our new patio here and here. This is the fabric I will be using.

Blue Clear Sky

This banner would be a great way to add some fun and colour to our small backyard using the leftover fabric.
I'm still searching for an affordable wood table and some mismatched chairs to use as our outdoor dining set. This past weekend was pretty cold, we even had snow flurries, and I could only find 3 garage sales in town.

image:Country Living

 I picked up a galvanized watering can from Canadian Tire for $8 and already have a bunch of small galvanized plant pots. I like the large galvanized bucket in the photo below.
 image:Country Home

More of the mismatched chairs. I like that these are both white and brown and that there is lots of seating.

image:Country Living

Another white pergola {SIGH} and I love the rustic look of this table, below.

image:Country Living

The chandelier is great, but if I found a beauty like that it would be IN the house. No way would I put my first chandy outdoors. Love the old table used as a coffee table.

image:Country Home

Some of my tulips bloomed today and we raked the front flower bed. I need to get busy and find some dining pieces to paint. We got an offer on our sectional outdoor sofa. It was only one month old and we were offered more than we paid for it (we bought it on sale towards the end of the season.) After much thought and discussion, we decided to accept the offer, and the new owners picked it up today.
Hoping you are having a great week!

Linking up this week to Melissa at The Inspired Room's Inspired By party.


Opinions needed please

We have had a busy weekend here doing family things and some organizing and rearranging. I was hoping I could get some opinions on our living room. We switched the leather sofa into the family room and it is working out well. The white slipcovered sofa is in the front living room now and I am continuing to move things around. I'm striving for a farmhouse at the lake feel (although we don't have a farmhouse or a lake-yet.)
This room is small and does not get a lot of natural light as the window is narrow and shaded by the porch roof. I added the two mirrors, flanking the wall shelf, hoping to reflect some light into the room. Dark paint does not work in here. Currently it is a creamy white with a hint of yellow. I need to look up the colour. 
My first question is: Do the mirrors look odd there? Should I move them? If I take them down would the mantel shelf look odd by itself?  The large framed pieces and accessories can be moved. The table on the right is already moved to be our new computer table in the family room. Please feel free to leave a comment whether you have a suggestion or not. Have a great Sunday.
Edited to add: Thanks for all the great comments. I have added these older photos of our living room, when we had the leather couch in here, to give you a better idea. We still have all the pieces, some are just being used in other rooms. The chairs have white slipcovers almost completed.


I've reached 100 Followers!

 My blog has 100 followers!
Thanks to all my followers, and to Debbie at Ribbonwood Cottage for being number 100.  I started blogging just over a year ago and I never thought I would see this number. Thanks also to Kim at Twice Remembered for creating my blog button last year. There are so many kind people that have inspired and helped me along the way. It is amazing how much we can learn and experience in one year of blogging. I am blessed to have 'met' so many of you.  My 39th 45th birthday was this week and this is a wonderful present. I'm off to plan a giveaway in celebration.


An IKEA Slipcover Made Me Do It

IKEA and Susie Harris @ Bienvenue put me on Cloud Nine too!
It all started with Susie Harris at Bienvenue being on Cloud Nine. Susie used an IKEA Ektorp sofa slipcover in Blekinge White to cover her not IKEA red sofa. A lightbulb moment. Maybe an Ektorp slipcover would fit our family room couch with the blue green black beige multi coloured, sure it will hide dirt, and yes I love all those colours but did I have to have them all on one piece of upholstery what was I thinking moment? I have been dreaming of a new white slipcovered couch, but it wasn't in our budget and our couch and a matching chair are still in great condition. Our couch and the Ektorp are similar shapes. We discovered that the attached back cushions were actually inserts in an attached and zippered cover. If we took the back inserts out, the slipcover just might work. Susie was kind enough to answer my questions and off I went to IKEA (50 km door to door and 35 minutes) for a $59 white slipcover. It fit, a bit short but I will do something to fix that later. Thanks Susie!

Then the moving began. You know how moving one thing inevitably means moving something else? I decided to use the white couch in the living room, a room used for conversation and reading. The natural light in the living room is minimal. Dark wall colours make it look like a cave so the walls in here have to stay light. I'm hoping to make this more of a dual purpose room, relaxing/visiting and a sort of library/reading room.
 After: New slipcover and moved to living room.
Before below: Without slipcover in the family room 
I'll be rearranging lots more in this room. I would like to totally rework the shelf accessories and mirrors. Maybe they don't work there?? I like this area rug, but it doesn't have to be used in this room. The table to the right of the couch in the living room is now a computer table in the family room, so I'll need to find tables for in here. Confused yet?    This is the Liz Claiborne fabric I have for drapes in the living room. I have extra and could make pillows.

Using the white couch in the living room meant moving my leather sofa to the family room, where we watch tv and spend most of our time. The leather couch is very comfortable and one of my favourite pieces in our home. The large ottoman (not shown) will be getting a slipcover, not sure what colour, and will go in front of the leather couch. I like a touch of blue in all my rooms and will be adding some here too. I recently recovered two floor pillows in an outdoor fabric blue and white stripe (see striped pillow in the top photo). 
After: Leather couch moved to family room. Lamps from our bedroom.
(The walls are not pink, bad lighting at dinner time and in a hurry to keep moving, and the spots must be on my camera)
Before: Our leather couch in the living room

Lots to do still, but at least we figured out the big pieces. I want our home to have a lakeside and farmhouse feel, a bit of beach at the lake and farmhouse all wrapped together somehow. I will be posting photos and asking opinions as I go along too.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any ideas I would love to hear them in the comments.


Dining Room changes and A Ruffled Tablerunner

Our home, like many, is a work in progress. We add, change, move and subtract pieces all the time.

Our dining room has seen many arrangements but most recently this photo below showing our dining room (January) BEFORE:

Before the purchase of our black china cabinet.
We recently repainted the walls a shade lighter than the main floor's Benjamin Moore Stone House. I sewed the white curtains and plan to paint the wooden rod black and keep the wrought iron clips, or white and change out the clips to white also.

I also just sewed this table runner using water-shot moire cotton, leftover from my wedding dress. It is 19 inches wide. The gathered drop is 11 inches on each end and all pieces are lined. Sanding this table and adding a less shiny stained top is planned. My chairs for now are IKEA Kautsby.

This small wine cabinet is on a narrow slice of wall opposite the china cabinet and beside a parapet wall over the basement stairs and foyer. The Goodwill lamp was spray painted black and got a new drum shade,


I'm looking for a mirror or larger framed piece to layer behind the small picture frame.

I scored this solid pine Mennonite made buffet and hutch for $200 off kijiji and love how well constructed it is. It had the original price tag in one of the drawers for $1535. I like the black distressed finish and the double thickness of the drawer fronts. Gotta love kijiji.
 I'm searching for more white dishes to fill up the shelves. Hopefully some upcoming garage sales will have some platters, pitchers or white dishes.

Our home has a fairly open floor plan and this room is not very large at all, 10'6" x 11' and that includes the side open to traffic. We don't use this room a lot but I do like having the extra table for overflow seating for large family gatherings. If I find a different table with more chairs one day, I may have to switch this current dining room with the larger front living room. A neighbour's same model home has theirs that way. This dining area would then become a sitting room/library because we have the family room at the back of the house and another tv area in the basement.

The image is in reverse to show our layout which is flipped from the plan.

The antique Canadian sideboard that this china cabinet replaced (in the second photo from top) is now being used as our tv stand in the family room. It works for now, holds baking pans, and will look even better if we get a flat panel tv one day. I'm blaming Spring, and all the great inspiration photos in the bloggy world, for this need to move furniture lately. How about you?

I'm linking to Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage. Be sure to stop by when you get a chance.


Patio Dining Inspiration

Oddly enough, in all the years we have been married and those same years that we have been homeowners, we have never owned a patio dining set.

Lots of inexpensive sets are available at chain retailers everywhere, but I could never commit to a set.

Since discovering blogging, I have been encouraged so often by fellow bloggers and I am better understanding my style preferences. I am learning what I like, why I like certain things, and what works for us as a family.

 As I continue to plan our outdoor spaces, I have realized that the traditional patio tables with all their matching pieces (at least the ones in our price range) have never really appealed to me. The outdoor dining table and chairs that I dream of are indoor furniture pieces used outdoors or mismatched wood, wicker and iron items. Farmhouse tables, hand made plank tables, mismatched painted chairs and worn wood and paint finishes.

I am learning that I prefer a collected over time look. I also like weathered or painted wood. I'm not a big fan of factory finished vinyl coatings. For me. I think matching aluminum or vinyl sets work great for so many people, but I just can not commit to it. I just wish I had realized this before I made the quick decision last year to buy our sectional sofa for our gazebo (photo below.)

Have you been there? Great price, last one in the store, calling hubby on the cell to bring the truck while the kids claim the box? It's nice, I do like it, but I don't love it. Too modern for me. I've got a bit too much "country girl" or "junk gypsy" in me to really be satisfied with it. So, I'm going to try and sell it on Kijiji. We used it for one month and stored it indoors all winter and if I can get close to what I paid I'll part with it. If not, I'll have to make it work.

Ah, but if I do sell it, I'll be using my beloved Muskoka/Adirondack chairs for seating. At least four and with lots of pretty pillows. Reclining at its best.

For the dining table and chairs I will be using these photos from Country Living for inspiration.
Our current metal gazebo will hopefully one day be replaced with a wood pergola. Big chunky posts framing our patio. Filtered sunlight. Solid and sturdy. So my plan is to try and sell the sectional and hit the yard sales for inexpensive mismatched chairs, an old farmhouse table and unusual buckets for plants. Here's hoping!

edited to add: we sold the sectional, and for more than we paid for it because we got it at such a deep discount. We found the farmtable and are searching now for metal chairs in our budget.


Easter Decorating Around Our Home

I thought I would share a few photos of Easter decorating around our home this year.
This table display is in our living room. I added the basket, sign and pink bird I won in the giveaway hosted by Chris from Just Beachy and sent to me by City.Cottage
I hope to one day fill this wall with a bookcase or cabinet but for now my little stool holds some favourite decorating books.
A children's bunny tea set in our kitchen. I accidently dropped the Easter storage bin several years ago and broke the snack plates and napkin rings but luckily everything else was fine. My kids and nieces and nephews have enjoyed having tea in this little set.
Hoping you all have a great day.