I am a wife, a mother, an auntie and a friend. I love thrifting, garage sales, re-purposing, creating, painting, anything that makes our little rental home more welcoming, comfortable and cozy. I have discovered the "art" of amateur photography & I love the idea of capturing the beauty in the ordinary everyday things that surround us. Blogging is a wonderful way to make new friends and share with people who have the same interests. My personal taste in decorating leans towards "casual cottage/coastal decor". I now have a small shop on etsy, called "SandySeashore" where you'll find some of my vintage finds, my photography and some handmade things. I hope you take the time to check it out! Thanks for droppin' in!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Joy Part II

What can I say...I seem to be on a roll, at least I was.  Now I'm just tuckered out and "paying" for all that I've been up to. I tend to not know my body's limits until it's too late. Oh, well, this too shall pass, right? Now I sit back with some eggnog and relax (and berate myself for overdoing it! LOL)  But I am satisfied that I've accomplished something good, so sometimes the pain is worth it. It nourishes my soul to be creative and well, sometimes I need that. Creating is my outlet, it's who I am and I need to stay in touch with that, no matter the price. Okay, enough of that, now, let's get to the nitty gritty!

It's all about the Joy of the season.

After decorating the inside of the house, I wanted to find a "cost effective" (free) way to decorate the outside. I started by walking around our little neighborhood and collected fallen tree branches

I gathered some in a large galvanized basin. Added some berries and rose hips for color, a few lights from the strand I put around the front door.  I sat the basin in my antique sleigh (so many wonderful memories brought back by that old sleigh). Oh, wait! I have skates...hmmm. Add some fur to them, replace the laces with ribbon and a little ribbon to decorate them. I added various branches of greenery and Voila! 

 A few more branches here and there...

The bench was looking a little bare, so I made a sign simply by spelling out "Noel" in driftwood on an old piece of wood. I framed it with scraps (using a small manual hand saw! No more power tools for me!!!)

I added the garden angel my son gave me and a tiny white bird. My watering can with some branches in it, & moss for the angel to rest on.

 I think of all the decorating I've done, this little vignette is my favorite! 

The wall next to the mailbox looked a little bare too...
I found an old weathered board behind our workshop, this time I spelled out "Joy" with some driftwood, a little white rope to hang it and I'm almost done...

For the last little touch of Christmas magic I needed snow!

I sprinkled flour lightly on everything. So pretty!

 I enJOYed every minute of it!
Total cost: $0 

 I hope you enjoyed my photos.


On a different topic, my son organized another charity event on Dec. 7th, with all proceeds to be shared between the Richmond Firefighters Charities & The Richmond Sockeyes Scholarship Fund.

Because money is so tight these days, and I wanted to donate some things for the silent auction, I decided we needed to make some things.  

  The Three Kings.
Mike did the building & sanding, I did the painting.

We also had parts of a 100 year old door in the workshop, just waiting to be used for something...

 We also framed two photographs I took at Finn Slough.

 The Fire On Ice Event was a success with over 200 people attending, many great items donated for silent auction,
a fifty/fifty draw, raffles and tickets sold for the pub night.

I am the very proud mother of a wonderful, kind hearted son. There's a lot of JOY in that too!

Wishing you and yours much Joy in this season of giving.

Thanks for following!
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Joy in my heart.

It's that time of year again...

I swear as I get older, the days and years go by more quickly.  Christmas comes more quickly than I can handle! I swore again this year that there would be no tree, uh, yeah, right, like that will ever happen. The closest I got was last year when I tried a new idea, my tree was decorated with all things coastal, beachy or whatever you want to call it, seashells, sailboats, glass floats... My happy place is the beach, so our home reflects that.  The last year has been difficult for us, in so many ways that I just wasn't feeling it this year. But then I realized, if I want more joy in my life, it's not going to knock at my door and say "Hi!" I have to create it. So, is not decorating for Christmas going to make me feel better? No. It's a lot of work for me now, but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, was it?

 Yes, Karen, my dear wise friend, my collection of Christmas decorations and ornaments do make me smile, they bring back memories and are so pretty. Joy! Every little bit counts! Once I started, I enjoyed it very much. Traditional is the way to my heart. The Beachy tree from last year was beautiful, and a nice change, but it just wasn't the same. I didn't go crazy with it this year, but I did just enough. I like it.

Joy isn't about how many gifts are under the tree, it's about something bigger, it's about peace, love, family & friends. I have all that. I smiled when I said that. My heart feels full.

 Oh, and Karen, thanks for your love and support, your friendship and your "bossy-ness".  I love you girlfriend. You wanted to see pictures, so here you go...

 This ornament always makes me feel happy. It was given to me 28yrs ago, when I was pregnant with Eric. My mother's best friend gave it to me because I was insistent that I was having a boy. He was to have blue eyes, even though his dad and I both have brown eyes. I was right! :)

                                                               That's Mike, Eric and I!
                                                             Joy, Joy and more Joy! See, I made my own!

                                                          I painted this when Eric was little.

 So, the girl who wasn't going to have a Christmas tree, has three, if you count the little one Mike bought for Sawyer's first Christmas, yes the puppy got a tiny tree.

                                 Merry Christmas to all!

  I hope you find your JOY!

Thanks for following!



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Be my guest!

 The office/craft room makeover.

My challenge was to still be able to use this small room as a "workspace" for my small etsy business, a workspace for my hubby who is into car models, and a neat, cozy guestroom when needed.

I think I've changed the spare room a dozen times (lol) over the 8 years since my son moved out. I've never been able to turn into the cozy but practical space I wanted. It just never felt "just right".

I was able to purchase a brand new and very comfortable double bed for a steal from a friend. That was really my push to get the room going. There are still a few things that need "tweaking", but 
I think I've managed to do what I imagined.

If you are on Pinterest, you are probably aware that maps are big in decorating right now. 
Whether it's you initials covered in maps sitting on a shelf, a piece of furniture embellished with maps decoupaged onto it, or a wall covered in maps, it really appeals to me. Maybe it's the colors, or maybe it's dreams of traveling the world, or just my own country, I don't know. But with the room painted white, I had a blank canvas...
Images from Pinterest
But first let's talk about the elephant in the room. The shelves close to the ceiling that are on three walls. They are not my favorite thing (nice way of saying "I hate them"), but because storage is very minimal in our small home this seemed like a reasonable solution. I'm trying to pretend they don't exist, so just go with me on that one, okay?

Anyway, back to the maps...
I collected a couple of vintage atlas' with the hope of doing something interesting with the pages within. 

To tell you the truth, I was excited to do this, but worried it might not look the way I pictured it.

So, page by page, with a brush loaded with wallpaper paste...

 The boards running from wall to wall were the work table Mike and I used. The problem I had with it is that it always looked cluttered and messy, and it left us with no room for a bed. Visually, it distracted me, and it became a dumping ground for all kinds of stuff.

Yeah, uh, see what what I mean?

 When I got to this point with the wallpapering, Mike removed the "desk" so that I could continue. 

 I had to do it a bit at a time because my body is always so "cranky", but eventually I got it done.
 I am very happy with the results. :)

Then came the wainscoting wallpaper on the lower half of the remaining walls, then Mike added the molding at the top. 

Because I love my husband so much, I gave up the storage space in the closet. It was always a disaster, you know, the one where you are afraid to open the door? Yeah, well, it is no more.

The shelving was mostly already in there, I just filled them with his models. The work table was made out of a large piece of wood, a few brackets and some makeshift "legs".  A drawer attached to the wall is ideal for his spray paints. A few task lamps for lighting, a chair and "Bob's your uncle"!

It works for both of us, he can leave unfinished work on his desk to come back to later, and I don't have to look at the mess. It's a win/win! :)

 We then brought in the bed, and decorated the room almost entirely with things we already had. 
Ignoring the look of those shelves by the ceiling, I cut pieces of wood (cost approx. $3.00 each) and hung four panels of "mosquito netting" purchased at Ikea for a measly $4.99/two panels to add that "dreamy, coziness" I was aiming for.

I organized my craft/etsy stuff in boxes and bins, both on the shelving unit and under the bed.
I also used a large basket with a lid to hold most of my linens for my etsy shop. 
 I used sheer curtains with light blue curtains I already had. They add warmth and a beautiful glow to the room.

My sewing machine is under a basket on the vintage sewing cabinet that my friend Karen gave to me in exchange for an old farmhouse cabinet that I had.
It is one of my favorite things in the house.

The little coral ballerinas from Mexico dance in the breeze.

And now for my favorite part of the room,
Drum roll please...
 Every time I walk into this room, the bed calls out to me, I swear...It is SO cozy!

 I made the two large 24"x 24" pillow shams using an old hobnail cottage bedspread. (love)
The small blue cushion at the front with a map of the places we've been in the Mayan Riviera was made for us by my niece. It fits in perfectly.

 The headboard was made from half of a damaged bi-fold hollow core closet door that otherwise would have been sent to the dump. I just cut it to length and added some molding to it. It got some caulking and a couple of coats of paint. (I love saving things from going to landfill)

 The "Sweet Dreams" sign above the bed was made from an old cupboard door that was saved with this kind of project in mind. The lettering is a decal from Ebay for $2.99 that I applied to it before giving the whole thing an "antique" finish.

 The ledge on the headboard is a great place to display a few things.

Two of my favorite Models my hubby made.


There is also storage in baskets and suitcases between the foot of the bed and the window. That is also where I put my antique fold out table that is on casters, when I need the extra space for crafting.

It is now "just right".

I really like how the netting around the bed creates a "cocoon". It makes the bed separate from the rest of the room. It has a very serene, peaceful feeling about it. The room is now practical but still pretty and now matches the rest of our home.
The makeover was inexpensive, and the whole project was done slowly, in bits and pieces over about two months. 
I am learning that patience is a virtue, and pain isn't, more and more every time I undertake a new project.

So, who's going to be our first guest?

Thanks for following!