Thanks Jami from Freckled Laundry!

I was so happy to receive  

I love visiting Jami's blog. Jami creates some beautiful things. Do you remember the faux zinc nightstand and tutorial that Jami shared? Love it. She uses denim, hemp, linen, cotton, rosettes and more to create bibs, laundry bags and other hand made beauties. 

The award was created by Natalie at Blossoming Visions and the rules are as follows:
  1. Link back to the blogger who awarded you and don't forget to thank them!
  2. Pay it forward to 5 deserving bloggers for their expertise on turning their homes, furniture, decor, etc. into masterpieces.
  3. Answer these 5 questions about yourself:
~If you could befriend a famous person, who would it be? and why?
George Strait! I can't help it. My kids will laugh and understand though. Why? His voice, the cowboy, his voice, his ranch, and as Jami said, why not?!

~What sounds make you happy
The laughter of the children I love, wind rustling leaves in the trees, thunderstorms {when I'm at home}, waves at the beach or water bubbling over rocks, and the school bell at the end of the day.

~What is your favorite dessert?
Strawberry cheesecake. Just saying it makes me want some!

~Which holiday do you look forward to the most?
Christmas! The decorating, planning, family time, Masses, preparation, and the two week vacation from school.

~What is your all-time favorite movie?
A Christmas romance, A Holiday to Remember (1995) starring  Randy Travis and Connie Sellecca. I don't think it was a huge hit, but I love the scenery.

I am passing this award on to the following five blogs:
Grace at Sense and Simplicity.
Yvonne at Stone Gable.
Andrea at Rural Revival
Kim at Cheap Chic Home and
Leslie at Goodbye House! Hello Home!

Be sure to stop by and check out their awesome blogs.

Thanks so much, Jami!


Farmhouse kitchen table set~ It's Done and a Giveaway!

Last week I posted the work in progress on the farmhouse table and windsor chairs we received from a friend, for the kitchen. I shared my inspiration photos and plans in that post. After lots of painting, sanding and protecting they are now finished and I am so happy I decided to make that first brush stroke. Hang in to the end, I'm sharing the before and during first, and celebrating the finished job with a giveaway at the end.
The finish on the table had lots of use loving and needed to be refinished. I love pine furniture.

I couldn't decide between black or white, and slapped on some finally settled on black. In my usual indecisiveness I painted the table legs and chairs before I sanded the top. It seemed easier and more satisfying at the time ;) No problem though. After it thoroughly dried we took it outside and I sanded away. I jokingly asked Mr. BCS if he wanted to sand and he laughed and said he'd rather make the dinner and do the dishes. Yeah, and I forgot all about sanding the tabletop extensions that can be added onto either end. A project for another day.
Sanding with my palm sander and a 60 grit sandpaper to remove the finish and then a 220 grit to make it nice and smooth.
The table top was stripped to the bare wood. I love the look and smell of bare wood. That could be why I would rather spend time in the hardware store then at the perfume counter in a department store!
The bar stools still need one more coat of paint, Verathane and reupholstering before they will be ready. Inspiration photo here. Our oldest son wants me to keep the black pleather seat cushion, but I'm thinking white denim might be a better choice.
I don't own a fancy respirator because I avoid don't do a lot of sanding, but this 3M N95 Sanding and Fiberglass disposable respirator mask works well. And safety glasses over the fogging up regular glasses.
I used BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Paint and Primer In One in Interior Satin Enamel with a brush for the chairs and the table legs/apron (seriously love love this paint.) I rubbed Minwax English Chestnut stain on with a rag for the tabletop (a lot bit darker than what I expected.) Easy peasy, though. All pieces were coated with Verathane Interior Diamond Wood Finish in Satin (water based.)
Oh, and speaking of paint, total score the other day at Home Depot. I paid the regular $20 Canadian for the black, and this week found a neat charcoal mistint, same paint, for $3. The two little mistint tester pots, white and a tan, were $1 each (regularly $4.99 Cdn.)
And finally, the After

The barstools are not quite finished but I like how the aqua looks up against the breakfast bar. Beefing up the trim and corbels on this area, and the kitchen wall to the left, is a future plan.
We are also putting white beadboard under the cabinets (the yellow is the previous kitchen colour.)
The little aqua shelf is just temporary until I find my baking cupboard.
Cost breakdown:
BEHR paint black ~$20 small can
Table and chairs~ free from a friend
Barstools~ $45 for the pair
Minwax stain~ $9
Verathane~ $14

Everything else we already had and we still have lots and lots of the supplies leftover for other projects too.
A giveaway for my friends!
My third giveaway is for a set of four dish/face cloths  that I crocheted. Nothing fancy, just a little thank you for my wonderful friends and readers.
{One comment per person please. If you don't have a blog be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you if you win. The winner will be drawn randomly from all comments on Wednesday, Sept. 1st.}
This giveaway has now ended. Be sure to stop back again, I plan to have another.
Have a wonderful weekend and ending to August!

I'm linking up to Wendy's Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest. Be sure to stop by and see all the creative

I'm linking up to Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special. Donna's special this week is "Old" and will be sure to have lots of inspiration.


Bakery Sign

Our kitchen table and chairs are very close to being finished. One more coat of Verathane on the table and some dry time and they will be ready for photos. My arms are still a bit sore from using the electric palm sander to get the old finish off the table top!
While I had the palm sander out I finished my bakery sign. I just used a plain piece of pine, 29" long x 9" high. The letters were printed out on the computer and traced, then painted.  I was inspired by an old sign in a bakery in a town we passed through recently. I'm thinking I got a little carried away with the palm sander and should have stuck with my sanding block. The wear looks a little too intentional in spots.  What do you think? Should I try to fix it up, or just leave it?
I'm planning to hang this sign on the kitchen wall behind our table. I still need to find the perfect shelf unit to store all my mixing bowls, measuring cups etc. I almost bought a buffet and hutch, but our eat in area of the kitchen isn't very wide and I realize now that I need something tall and with a narrow depth. Something like a bookcase or shelving. This sign will hang above it.
The big pine armoire in the background is a recent kijiji find for $75. Heavy, solid pine, four doors and  crown moulding. I think it needs a nice distressed white paint job. The old 3 drawer chest the sign is standing on was stripped of it's finish by the previous owners. I'm trying to decide between paint, whitewash or just poly protection. I would love having your opinions.


Shades of Blue Canning Jars

Decorating blogs and magazines feature many pretty vignettes and uses for vintage Ball, Mason and Crown canning jars.
Image above: Country Living

I love collecting vintage canning jars and use these versatile beauties for storage of office supplies, bunches of flowers from the garden, or just grouped on a shelf. I love coming across a dusty box of canning jars at garage sales and can't resist peeking to see if the box contains some old jars with the glass and zinc lids. The coloured or tinted jars are my favourites. As with paint colours and fabric, I sometimes struggle to give a name to the particular shades of blue that my jars have. Luckily I stumbled across these photos and can now give a colour name to my jars. I have heard that the most expensive jars are cobalt blue, green and amber.

 (I found the above 3 images in a google search. If you know of the source, I would love to give them credit.)

Crown mason jars are much easier to find in our area. Most of my jars are Ball blue and aquamarine and have little bubbles and ripples in the glass.

 My favourites have the crown on the glass lid with zinc ring.

In our ensuite bath I have some grouped in the corner of the soaker tub.

A grouping in a row on top of the medicine cabinet also in the ensuite bath.

I use mason jars to hold bunches of flowers in the backyard or on a table.

I love seeing the light reflect of them grouped on a shelf in the kitchen.

In our basement guest suite I have filled several old jars with rocks. These ones have the glass and wire locking top and are clear coloured.

In my hobby room they hold antique bobbins, buttons, safety pins, paint brushes and more.

I added a light kit to three jars and turned them into lamps for my hobby room.

I have seen so many inspiring vignettes incorporating canning jars in blogs I visit, and I'm wondering how you use vintage canning jars and if they are coloured, what shade of blue they are. They may be old, but once the dust is washed off these jars have so many uses.


Playing at the Farm

Summer holidays are nearing an end for us but we squeezed in another visit to our relative's farm.
Our oldest spent the week working with the cows, going to auction, and lots of other farm activities. K is all about cows.
We picked K up and spent some some time enjoying the perfect summer day.

Our youngest spends most of his time on the tractors. J is all about machines and trucks.
Mr. Blue Clear Sky and I spent time dreaming of owning property in this township, where many generations of his family have owned farms.
Hopefully we can squeeze in a few other end of summer outings.