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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thrifty Chic in Canada

Remember the post about my dough bowl with the blocks? Well, Janice from Canada emailed me and told me she was inspired to do the same under her coffee table. How sweet is that?

Don't you just love the whole room? I really like the mix of rustic with white. I really enjoy seeing what other people do on small budgets. Their "beadboard" is actually beadboard wallpaper, which surprises their guests. Could have fooled me too. Almost everything came from thrift stores or Kijiji, which is Canana's version of craigslist. Of course, the dog is one of my favorite features to the left of the room. :)

Look at her beautiful dining room!

She really wanted the Pottery Barn Queen Anne chairs but not at their going price, so they found these chairs at $25 each and her husband refinished them . So pretty, and really, just like the PB ones.

I love the wooden door in the really pops against the white in the room.

She told me one of their thrifty tricks, is to collect Pottery Barn gift cards from people selling at a significant discount. That's how they got one of their rugs. Thanks for the tip! (I've been eyeing a lovely french wire hamper from there). She sewed the table runner, chair skirts and most of the pillows. I adore the slipcover on this chair.

I adore the chair.

Their chandelier was found on the side of the road. Can you believe it?! Best of all is the story behind her dishes. Her husband won them in a golf tournament! He jokes that it should make her appreciate all the time he spends at the driving range. That would surely help I think. :)

I loved learning about how it all came together in such an inexpensive way. Janice doesn't have a blog yet, but hopefully one day she'll start one and we'll get to see more.

Thanks Janice for sharing your beautiful rooms with all of us!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Finally We Have Snow

Tundra SwanFebruary 22, 2010We have had such a mild, precipitation winter this year that I have been extremely concerned as to what this will mean to our local farmers and home gardeners. Despite getting little more than a light flurry with no accumulation between November 2009 and January 2010, February gave a bit of home with now the second of two snow storms consisting of good accumulation.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Singing by the Stairs

Remember our bench seat? It used to sit beside the stairwell. That is, until Sparkle and Blue came along.

They were the much anticipated, saved-up-for pets by Paris, our oldest daughter.
She bought the birds, and we bought the birdcage.

Because I found one in a distressed gray finish.

I thought beside the stairs would be the perfect spot for it. For them.

As did Blackberry, one of our four cats. The table lends itself to a superb spying spot.
They are used to each other by now though and co-exist peaceably,

by the stairs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tulips & Toile

Tulips were on sale yesterday.

After several days of blue bird skies and cozy sunshine, we're having some rainy days. The tulips bring some brightness to these grey days. I love the white against the robin's egg blue walls (Opal Essence by Benjamin Moore).

I haven't put fresh flowers in here (our downstairs bathroom) for awhile, although that's exactly what the table is for.

I'm still loving my toile shower curtains from Pottery Barn.

Today I also hung a piece of art I recently framed. I found the nude drawing at an antique show several weeks ago. Shortly thereafter, I found the Victorian frame for $35. I think they go quite beautifully together. I just love the combination of the formal ornate detail of the frame, paired with the lovely simplicity of the charcoal drawing. I also love the gold hue against the blue walls.

Did I mention that tulips were on sale yesterday? I bought some pink ones too. They're a french variety that look like sweet little peonies.

I was surprised when the florist told me that if I wanted the tulips to last longer, to not trim the stems when I got home. She said that when you cut them, they release an acidic substance (that gooey stuff) into the water that makes the blossoms deteriorate faster. Has anyone ever heard of that? Well, I thought I'd try it. I didn't cut any of them, just plopped them in their vases 'as is' (which felt a bit neglectful).

I'll keep you posted on how long they last.

UPDATE: Go here to read that the above information on tulips is completely false!

Homeschooling never looked so good

Number 2 way to cheat the Dave Ramsey system? Find amazing pieces like this for my home and take it out of the "homeschooling category".

It's in the budget after all.

beautiful images above: Reading My Tea Leaves

image: Raven Maps

Aren't they just beautiful? Pieces of art, really.

I think we'll be learning a lot about Alaska this year:

Based solely on the shape.

These gorgeous maps are made by Raven Maps. Their philosophy: "Maps must be accurate, but they should also be beautiful."

Yes, please.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

5 Steps Before Purchasing (from now on)

My husband and I have been attending a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Class every week, and last night's lesson was on Buyer Beware. In it, Dave lays out the five wise and worthy steps to walk through before making a purchase:

Step 1:
Waiting overnight before making a purchase.

Step 2:
Carefully considering your buying motives. No amount of stuff equals contentment or fulfillment.

Step 3:
Never buying anything you do not understand.

Step 4:
Considering the "opportunity cost" of your money.

Step 5:
Seeking the counsel of your spouse.

The foremost thought running through my head during last night's class?

...good thing I bought these little beauties (on the spot) three days prior.


Monday, February 22, 2010

The Market In Sepia

Just catching my breath from a hectic show weekend at Renninger's...Lots of great junk went to new homes..I bought some cool stuff of course...

For you, some shots of things that caught my eye and thought they would be fab in sepia...

Loved this chair. The seller was nowhere to be found so I had to leave it behind...

Masses of pearls...

A stampede...

Prisms and watch faces...

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Sunday, February 21, 2010


I'm almost too tired to type. We put in another full weekend converting the old sauna into our home gym. But due to my inability to focus on just one project at a time, I also managed a few other side tasks. One task was a five minute bed makeover...explanation to follow.

Hubby worked every second of the weekend putting in fir floors.

While he cut, I pitched in by installing some of the boards. The paint on my jacket is from painting this room last weekend.

The tongue and groove fir flooring went over the concrete floors. It was surplus from the wraparound porch. Some of the boards had been pre-primed and some had not, but for our purposes, it doesn't matter because we plan to paint the floors grey. These boards are mostly seconds, so the paint will cover a lot of the imperfections in the wood.

I took advantage of Hubby's every pause, and wandered inside where I replaced our old beige quilt with the above antique popcorn quilt.

I also managed to repair an antique frame (a piece of the rounded detail was missing).

After the spackle was dry I touched it up with gold paint, which I need to finish.

Lucy provided the supervision needed to accomplish all of our tasks (even my multi-tasks). She is still wearing the bright yellow bandanna she received when she had her hair and nails done at the beauty spa.

I like the brightness and the old-fashioned charm the popcorn quilt offers. I also think it defines the bed better than the beige quilt did against the jute rug.

And of course the detail of the crochet is just beautiful.

As you can see, I haven't yet reupholstered the Victorian chair. I ordered some velvet samples but none of them were the right color. And after the bench upholstery job I did for the closet vanity, I know I will have to take it to a professional. No doubt about it.

The lovely and talented Brooke over at
Blueprint Bliss did a post on our farmhouse last week. She has a beautiful, inspiring blog...go check it out!

Spring is coming

Look what's laying around here lately...
Our hens like to take a holiday and mosey around their coop during mid-winter. But once the days start getting a little longer, it's their signal to get back to work.

Our bounty from this past week:

We love the colors and different shapes. The greenish-blue ones are from our Araucanas, and the little off-white ones are from the Bantams.

The chickens live very happily in a portable coop my husband and boys constructed. I think it has a bit of a European flair. The chickens think so too. They are quite distinguished.
The boys move the coop every morning to a new buggy spot in on the lawn, and the chickens just eat it up.
After the feast, they retire to the bedroom suite above...
and lay their European blue and white eggs.
Plans for the chicken's penthouse can be bought here from Catawba.

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