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Sunday, 29 January 2012

{Spring Nursery Project}

This project was so much fun! Lily contacted me a few months ago to see about doing a project for her baby's nursery. This mama-to-be is so organized ~ her babe is not due until April, but she was getting the nursery all ready for his arrival. I like the idea of doing any painting for a baby room a month or so early to be sure to rid the space of any left over odours. She started scouring Kijiji and thrift stores in search of the perfect furniture and she really scored big when she came upon this treasure:

What an amazing set ~ great for storage and display and does not scream baby, so it is a fabulous piece to grow up with. It had started a cream colour I think, but had become very discoloured and much of the surface had started to peel. Also, those pulls really needed to go ~ FAST. 

Lily wanted it to be blue, but aside from that, she gave me a lot of freedom. This is what I came up with:

I painted it Benjamin Moore Buxton Blue, but I wanted it to pop a little more ~ it just looked like it had been painted blue. I wanted it to look more customized than that! After lining the back with a paintable wallpaper to add some texture, I painted it the same blue. It still needed a little more zing so I very lightly distressed the edges and gave the entire piece a walnut stain rub. I know that some of the other furniture in the nursery would be an espresso colour so I decided to play that up a little bit. The stain sticks in corners and crevices and adds a little more interest to the edges and  details. I heavily stained the back area and coated it with poly for extra protection. Since there would be 12 new pulls needed between the two pieces, I decided to use new wood knobs to help keep the costs down. I stained these to match and coated them in poly as well. After everything was dry, I rubbed everything with a furniture wax to add a nice lustre and some protection.

It has made me so happy to make Lily happy! I wish her all the health and happiness a new mama needs in the next few months. This baby is already very loved!

I am booking into February for projects so if you have anything you would like to see transformed to match your style, let me know! I would love to try and capture your vision.

I am also on Facebook and if you are too, drop by my page there. I am coming up on my one year anniversary in February and I want to do a give-away. It will be something decorative and easy to fit into any decor ~ you just need to be able to pick it up or arrange to have it picked up in Airdrie. More details to follow this week!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

{Updating My Boy's Room}

My oldest child is an 11 and a half year old boy. His name is Alistair and he is very particular (classic first-born).... For many years, he would not even consider letting me change the paint colour in his room. He likes what he likes and it takes a lot to change his mind. When we moved just over 2 years ago, we took possession of this house very quickly and painted his room a very non-offensive blue and he was okay with that until recently.

He loves to collect old bottles ~ mostly pop like Coke and 7-Up. He has other vintage-y types of things and some little cars and boxes as well. It had become a challenge for him to organize all of these treasures in a way that looked good so I started on a hunt for a display cabinet of sorts. We had inherited double bedroom set that was in perfect condition. It is from the 50s/60s with a great mid-century feel. I wanted whatever piece that I found to have that feeling as well. The bed frame is walnut and as I said, in near perfect condition so I did not want to paint it. After a few weeks of searching, I found this!

It was of a similar vintage and offered a perfect setting for his little collectables. Although it looks good in the photo, it was in need of refinishing ~ especially along the sides. Something had been spilled and a repair was made, but it did not look good. I would have had a hard time painting this if it was in good condition!

Alistair has always LOVED orange. I did talk him out of painting his room orange, but agreed to paint this cabinet a version of his favourite colour. He made me promise NOT to distress it as he finds that idea horrifying.

This is what I did for him.

I left the legs original, but painted the main part of the hutch Harvest Moon by Benjamin Moore with the new Advance paint. This is a lovely paint to replace the classic oil-based melamine paint. It is available in any colour and dries really smooth and hard. I wanted the inside to be a contrast to the orange so I painted it Balboa Mist (a creamy pale grey) in the same type of paint. I used the same hardware and sprayed them a nice bright red.

I made a template from some stick-on vinyl and used a spray-on glass froster for his initials on the glass sliders. Very subtle, but he likes that they are there...

The pictures look a little dark as his room does not have good natural light, but overall, I think it turned out pretty well.

I repainted his walls a darker blue and decided to add a few stripes.

My initial plan was to go all the way down the wall around the closet, but he loved it at this point and asked me to stop. He is fairly conservative and I think this was a bit of a stretch already for him. I used FrogTape to paint the stripes and I will never use anything else to block off paint again. It is easy-peasy lemon squeezy and it the lines are SHARP! No touch ups required!

I have yet to find bedding that I like and I have a little bookshelf to paint so I won't show the rest of the room yet. Today I picked up some shelves at Ikea to give him a spot for his books and other things as well. 

I love that I can do something unique for my kid that makes him happy.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

{Vanity Project}

This little vanity desk has been sitting in my work space for a while. As I have mentioned before, my friend Alicia is a Kijiji genius and she scored this sweet piece for a song a few months ago.

This is a life-sized jewelry box! Every drawer is velvet lined and purposed for storing every type of jewelry. Alicia took her time deciding what she would like to do with it. She was inspired by some fabric and decided to go bold!

This result is soooooo pretty! I love the red with the bright turquoise and pink in the bench. I removed all of the brass hardware and sprayed it all a pale pink before lightly distressing it.

I used some of the the extra fabric to line the interior storage  areas as well.

The print has a nostalgic feel to it, but feels so fresh with the red and pink. This was so fun to work on and the result was really special.

Alicia sent me a picture of the vanity after she put a few of her treasures inside...

I feel so fortunate that she trusted me to put this together for her... She gave me some creative freedom ~ this was a bit of a risk for me to take, but sometimes taking those little risks pay off.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

{Inherited & Ikea}

This past week I finished up a couple of pieces that Val sent home with me before Christmas. I brought them back to Rosebud with me to return to her. The first one was an old Ikea desk that had been stained blue but needed a new look for a teenager's room.

It was pretty standard Ikea. It needed to be dark so I went with black. I have a small stash of Ben Moore's Factory Black Melamine Paint that is no longer available in Canada. It is my favourite paint to use as it is a perfect black and super hard and durable when it cures.

It looks pretty modern and sleek with the new paint. I added some fabulous new wallpaper that I found in stock at Lowe's to the interior of the drawer and the tower storage area (remember those?).

This turned out to be a nice little facelift and an easy fix for this little desk.

The next piece was a little dresser Val had inherited from her parents, I believe. It was a classic little 3-drawer number that is very useful, but looked seriously dated. It seems that in my excitement to get painting this one, I neglected to take a picture of the "before". Just use your imagination...

The after!


It was missing a few knobs so I collected a few different ones that I had and sprayed them all a pretty celery green colour.

I like how these add a little bit of fun and still look like they belong there.

I distressed this guy pretty heavily ~ it just kept looking better with more distressing!

I finished it off with a little more prettiness in the drawers.

I am just in love with this wallpaper. I want to find a room in my house to put it in!

If you have anything hanging around your basement that you can't bring yourself to get rid of, maybe a facelift could bring it back to life in your home.... Let me know if I can help! Send me an email at or follow my page on facebook for more updates and pictures.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

{Bits and Pieces}

I just took another beautiful drive out to Rosebud, Alberta this morning. I always love driving east ~ the sky is SO big. Coming back home is also a treat as the view of the prairie is so amazing and then just as you get accustomed to the miles of fields, you get smacked in the face with the magnificent Rockies just as you arrive at the overpass to the QE2. The other thing I love about going to Rosebud is getting the opportunity to see my friend Valerie. She is the wonderful person who invited me to put some of my things in the Mercantile. It went so well over Christmas ~ I couldn't be more pleased! I think it was a great fit.... There were a few pieces that were still left and since the season is over until spring and there is a massive reno going on, I went and picked them up. I am posting them here for a day or two before I post them on Kijiji, just to give any readers interested a chance to speak first.

Secretary Desk


This is such a pretty desk with the benefit of extra storage as well. It is painted a very pale pink with the hardware a rubbed silver and lined with silver and grey wallpaper. It is very feminine and solidly built.

Super Shabby White Table w/Drawer


This heavily distressed table is a perfect touch next to a sweet chair or in your guest bedroom. Finished in a creamy white and hand rubbed to a smooth wax finish, it adds storage with a little drawer and a lower shelf. Vintage hardware and wallpaper lining add a pretty touch.

27.5" L
17.5" W
22.5" H

Super Shabby White Leaner Mirror


This is a mirror salvaged from an old dresser. It is a creamy white and heavily distressed and very heavy! Perfect for leaning on a mantle or table. The simple lines and small decorative feature at the top are appealing.

30" W
26" H

Darkly Distressed Square Mirror


A good strong and square mirror painted a dark grey and lightly distressed. Great for leaning or hanging.

23.75" each side

Architectural Interest


This one takes a little imagination, but I have seen similar ideas in magazines and on other blogs. It is a support piece for the mirror of an old dresser. It has pretty lines and interesting features. I included the brass screws and decorative bolts that held the mirror. This is great for building a mantle or shelf display. It adds height and interest with a shabby unusual touch. I really love the spindles!

Assorted Framed Fabric


I have a bit of a soft spot for fabric and so I can't really get rid of any bits left over from other projects. I love using old painted frames to show them off. I use one with a dry-erase pen in my kitchen for my weekly supper menu. They look SO much better than a white board!

If you see an item that interests you, or to ask a question, please leave a comment or drop me an email at 

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

{Old Timey Desk}

I have a truly lovely friend here who is also named Lisa. Her little man in gr 1 discovered this old desk at a thrift store and he fell in LOVE with it. They brought it home and he has been using it for his many creative projects and drawings.

It was a little bit grungy and carved up ~ it had definitely seen a lot of action in its career as a desk. Lisa wanted it livened up a little bit to reflect her son's personality and so it would look more intentional in her beautiful home. She gave me creative license ~ she just wanted the ivy green sparyed on the frame that I had used on a similar piece a few months ago.

This was SO fun! I just painted everything a nice navy and added the stripes using Frogtape which is a miracle product, by the way. My advice to anyone thinking of painting stripes DON"T DO IT WITHOUT FROGTAPE! Amazing clean lines with almost no bleeding underneath. Really awesome and worth the extra money. (I haven't even been paid for this endorsement!)

I lightly distressed the edges and any obvious dents and dings and gave the pieces a couple of coats of poly to add extra durability.

The verdict from the nervous 6 year old who had trusted me with his favourite thing? "I didn't know it would be this good!" YES! I love that kind of praise.... :-)

I have a few pieces going back to their homes this week that I will share after they have been delivered. I also have a project that I did for my own 11 year old son that I want to share. I am heading back to Rosebud now that the Christmas season is over to pick up my collection of pieces which were at the Mercantile. I will post the pieces that haven't sold here before I list them on Kijiji...

January is looking very busy!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Hello 2012

Welcome back! It has been such a nice break.... My kids are still off school for the week, but my husband is back at work and I am really trying to get back to a routine (slowly, but still.)

I thought I would share a piece I did for Kelly (a returning customer ~ yay!) just before Christmas. This style has been a theme for me lately and I love it. Pieces from this era turn out so well with a little lovin'.

This belonged to Kelly's grandmother so she wanted to keep it and use it. It did not fit into the style of her home looking like this though.... We picked a colour and went from there.

This colour is a dark gray with a lot of taupe so it is very neutral but nice and dark without being black (Midsummer Night from Ben Moore).

I added a pop of colour and a little fun in the drawers and the back of the cabinet. I think of these touches sort of like the lining in a jacket. It doesn't really make a huge difference, but why not have a little fun with style?

We were hoping to change out the hardware to something a bit more feminine, but the drawer pulls were not a standard size (something I didn't realize until it was too late to change). I decided to spray them an off-white and distress them slightly. I had some pretty knobs that I painted to match and I think the result is very nice.

Thanks Kelly for trusting me with your special piece!

If you have something you would like to see made-over, drop me an email and we can talk about it. Follow me on Facebook for more updates on what I am working on!