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!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lighten up!

Huh, I just found this post marked as "draft", which means I never published it. It is from last year, when I turned 50. I thought I'd publish it now, better late than never, right? 

I will soon be celebrating my 51st birthday! Wow, it feels so "substantial" (that's the  word that comes to mind), yeah, substantial. LOL  

Here are 5 things I've learned over the years...

1. Never take anything or anyone for granted.
2. Love weighs much less than anger and resentment. Forgiveness is the key.
3. Love yourself in spite of your faults or shortcomings.
4. Be kind, generous with your affection, and listen, really listen.
5. Love and friendship are gifts, give them wisely.

Oh, and those wrinkles called "crows feet" are nothing of the sort! Laugh lines are what they are,
and they should be worn with contentment and pride, for nothing feels better than a good laugh. LOL

Anyway, this post is not about age, it's about changing a few things...mainly small changes to the living room decor. First, it hasn't been painted in about 12 years! Wow, with me being "the queen of change", that shocks me! It was painted a color called "straw hat" which at the time was the perfect color to compliment the forest green couches we had. Well, two couches later, we find ourselves with denim couches. They are overstuffed and very comfortable, easy to care for and denim looks better with age (don't we all have a favorite pair of old jeans?).  

I want a lighter, softer look, rustic coastal, beach cottage style. I have to take it slower than I used to. Anyone who really knows me knows that I am a "get it done now" kinda gal. I'm slowly learning to slow it down and listen to my body. So with that in mind, don't expect miracles!

1. Paint - thankfully my hubby was on holidays and did that for me. He doesn't question my decisions when it comes to decorating, he just goes with the flow! 


 Which really looks more like the color shown below - (No, unfortunately, that's not our living room)

                            I love the soft colors in this room, with that pop of turquoise.

 Anyway, that's the new color. I won't show you the whole room, because I'm not done.
 I was given two beautiful lamps for my birthday by a dear friend, they totally tie into my color scheme and general look that I'm going for.
 (they are available online only at Walmart.ca)
I love the shape and color of them. They look like their made of driftwood - perfect!
The beautiful beach painting is a gift from my dear friend Michelle. It's a rendition of a photo I took in the Mayan Riviera. I absolutely love it, every time I look at it I am reminded of my other happy place. Thank you for that Michelle!
I've also papered the back of our book shelves on either side of the fireplace. I found the paper through http://www.thistlewoodfarms.com/ where KariAnne shares all her DIY projects and showcases her beautiful old farmhouse. I contacted her for the name of the paper she used, which I Googled and subsequently ordered from Joanne's Fabric. 
The paper is actually NOT wallpaper, it's wrapping paper. I searched for similar wallpaper but nothing was close enough to the look I wanted. I tried applying wallpaper paste to the back to adhere it to the wall - bad move - the paper isn't thick enough and tears very easily when wet. I then did what KariAnne did, which is to use double sided tape, I'm serious! It worked. It will make it much easier to remove if I decide to change things or if we move. A good thing to keep in mind when you are renting.

It is amazing how many people are fooled by the paper, they have to touch it to grasp that it really is just paper! lol

Grouping favorite things, including photos I took in Mexico, has more of an impact than just the two photos on the wall.

Did you notice the transom window in the doorway?
It's a milky stained glass window we found at the re-store in Seattle a few years ago. I've used it pretty much everywhere until I found the perfect place for it! It needs a bit more trim work done to it, but otherwise looks great!
My friend Margot gave me the stained glass window. I had hubby hang it in the window for me. 
It's so pretty when the sun is shining in.

I also decided to cover my round mirror in seashells. The smaller ones I've collected from some of my favorite spots in the Mayan Riviera, & some from Birch Bay, Washington. I also included some seashells given to me by Karen who collected them in Hawaii. 
 The mirror was bought at a garage sale for $5.00.

It found it's rightful place above the fireplace.

 My goal is to lighten & add charm. It will be done slowly, over time. I will get it done, eventually, with the help of my sweetheart of course.

And my trusty sidekick, Sawyer.

Another project

I found this old table at the thrift store for $5.00, it was damaged, but to fit into my decorating plan I painted it white, of course.

I used a mix of white paint and plaster of paris to thicken it. It adheres better, without having to do much prep work.

As you can see, I gave it a light distressing by sanding in some areas.

It got a whole new life in our home.

That's all for now,
Thanks for following,

Upcoming post: The coffee table my hubby is making me. I'm excited to see how it turns out!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Year - New Look!

It's late January and I am so ready for Spring, aren't you? With the "post Christmas blues" almost over, I felt inspired to make some small, but effective changes around the house. In keeping with my usual theme of "frugal/free/repurposing" & keeping in mind that the old saying that "necessity is the mother of invention"  has become my mantra...here we go...

 I am not fond of having the washer/dryer in the kitchen, but I tried to make the best of it by using a slab of butcher block (bought years ago at a garage sale for 5$!) to give us more work space/storage in the kitchen. I've tried different arrangements and never felt that it looked the way I wanted it to.
The plate rack cupboard was given to us by our friend Margot, I love it, but couldn't find a way to make it work. When the washing machine is running, the dishes clang. It drives me nuts! This whole look makes me want to de-clutter!

I've been looking at plank walls, especially ones made with barn board or reclaimed wood. I imagined the wall done that way, with very little hung on it, a simple, clean look.

I searched Craigslist for weeks looking for wood we could recycle. It was either not what I wanted or it was expensive. So, I decided to attempt getting the look I wanted using new wood and distressing it with stains/paint. 

 We bought 2 packages of tongue and groove paneling ($9.99 each) and used some to make a gift for our friend Margot and the rest for the wall. Total cost $20.00 (I used stain & paints we already had).

 My talented, patient husband did a great job of applying the planks to the wall with his compressed air nail gun. He "rounded off" the edges for a nicer finish.

Then came my part of the project. I looked up "paint recipes" for the reclaimed wood finish I wanted on Pinterest and came up with my own concoction of colors. Dark stain + beige paint + grey paint + white paint.

First came the dark stain:

I applied it with a brush, waited a few minutes and wiped it off. I then lightly brushed on the beige paint sporadically, followed by the grey. Once dry, I dry brushed a little white haphazardly.

 To hide the taps for the washer we used an old Marconi radio "shell", the insides having been gutted years ago. We added four wooden knobs on the bottom as feet to make it the right height, then cut out a bit of the bottom to accommodate the pipes:
 I really like the way it turned out...

 The wall is beautiful, but it needed something...
 I've wanted a large clock in the kitchen for a while, I was going to make it with wood,
  (by "I" I mean Mike!), but had a better idea...
This old ceiling tile I bought at a garage sale for $2 would make a great clock!
 Mikey framed it, keeping in mind it needed to have the space for the clock mechanism in the back. We purchased the mechanism was purchased at Micheal's Crafts for $13.99, less the discount, worked out to about $9.00. Pretty good price for such a pretty clock!

 I dry brushed a bit of dark stain on the frame to give it more of a distressed look.

 I totally LOVE the finished look. The kitchen feels bigger, more open and pretty!
The plate rack got a new home,
on the cabinet I built a long time ago.
 It will be trimmed out with some moldings and antiqued to match.

The entrance got a bit of a makeover too. 
Mike built a lovely shelf using wood and brackets we already had. 

 The shelf got the same treatment the wall did. I really like the soft colors.
 I finally hung the driftwood mirror/wreath I made from driftwood collected on the beaches of Gary Point, Steveston. 

Here's a before & after pic
What do you think?

Thanks Mikey for all your hard work! I love you! xx

Thanks for following!