The Living Room – before, after, and all dressed up

Recently we have been doing a bit of work on our home, with one of the biggest changes being made to our living room. 

(Furniture. pulled out getting ready to paint.)


We were needing to repaint the room, and though we liked the bold color we had before, we decided that maybe it would be fun to try something different. We went to the paint store with some colors in mind, but while there we also chose a few random swatches. The color we ended up choosing was not at all a color I ever would have dreamed of painting a living room, but we did as we wanted a complete change.

The first few hours, I have to admit, I wondered “what have I done?”. By the next morning the choice seemed better. A few days in, I loved the color.

(living room after)


Our living room had gone from bright to grown up. We still needed to add pillows, a carpet and art work, but the room was coming together.

With Thankgiving this weekend, we decided to dress up the room in the festive spirit. A few decorations, and the room was dressed for the holiday.


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Refinish and Renew – The Story Of Our Table

It seems like March has been a month of renewing, we’ve been reorganizing, refreshing, and basically eliminating a lot of the rubbish in our life.

Our dining table was one of these projects. Still sturdy and strong, and a style we quite liked, the table however was showing the effects of heavy family use. Hundreds of dinners, plus many hours of working and crafting and playing, had left scratches and dents across the table top. I figured we were at the point where we had nothing to lose and that perhaps it was worth attempting to refinish the table top.

blog refinish 1Before refinishing. A well loved and well used table.

blog refinish 2The point of no return. A good couple of hours were spent with the palm sander. This is where you wonder if you had made the right decision.

blog refinish 3Sawdust EVERYWHERE! I must research dust collection systems.

blog refinish 4Sanded and looking better already.

blog refinish 5Praying that the wiping stain matches. I held my breath through this stage and through the topcoat stage as well. It was my first experience with wiping stains and I was very impressed. I was also able to refinish a small portion of wood flooring ( a parquet floor quick fix that actually worked!) and a south facing window sill at the same time.

blog refinish 6The finished table. I was completely thrilled with the result. Twenty-five dollars and a bit of time and the table is literally as good as new…….or better…….I think the topcoat I used is better than the one originally on the table so hopefully this will take a lot more wear.

blog refinish 7And now to research the next project, the 1946 the table is sitting on. Only by the table is it worn, the rest of the floor is in great shape. Does anyone have any idea what the finish on the floor is? Shellac? Varnish? I am toying with just stripping and sanding individual boards and refinishing them. The way the boards are laid I think it will blend well ( I did a blending on the parquet floor and it worked). If anyone has any thoughts let me know.

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Carved Spoons – My New Obsession

blog 2 spoons_8276

Carved spoons is my latest handmaking obsession. It is something I just had to try and I admit I am hooked. I have a thing for functional items. We live in a small house with lots of people, there isn’t a lot of room for 3D decorative items, but if an item can be beautiful and functional I am thrilled to own it.

My first ever spoon is the one on the left. Chunky and rustic, yet measures a perfect teaspoon. Great for measuring sugar and spices.

blog spoon 2_8256

My second spoon is the one on the right and in the picture above. I was able to refine the shape more to seem less rustic. The branch in the picture above is the left over part of the branch that the spoon was carved from. This one went from being part of the crabapple tree (it needed pruning!) to a spoon in two days.

A third spoon has been made and just needs oiling and finishing, while a fourth has just been started.

As the spoons are being crafted from prunings that would usually just be collected by the city’s green waste program, it is great to see “waste” turned into functional items. As I find larger pieces of wood I will be able to expand my scope to scoops, cutting boards and other usable objects.

Photography by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com

For more handmade objects check out www.handmade-canada.com

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My $53 bathroom update.

Life has been interesting and busy which probably explains why I haven’t been putting out a flurry of blog posts. I have been busy with a bit of photography, continuing to work on the naturally dyed bracelets, updating the website, and an unexpected illustrating project.

On Monday I walked into the upstairs bathroom and I just couldn’t take it anymore. It was time for an update. Spontaneous paint jobs and renos are nothing new in our house, sometimes it is something minor like painting an accent wall, while others are more major like a late night decision to take out a wall (true story……..we decided if we put a sledge hammer through the wall we had to commit to the project!).

The bathroom was looking very uninspired. Five children create a lot of wear and tear. The plain white looked…well….just plain. The bathroom needed a change.

bathroom - before

before

before

before

Now the bathroom is a pretty unremarkable space. It is 67 years old and it measures 5.5 feet by 6 feet. The remarkable thing about the bathroom is we managed to get a 5 foot long tub installed in it a few years ago, and even better the tub is 20 inches deep. This tub had to be squeezed through a doorway that is 22.5 inches wide. If you ever want to see a plumber sweat this was the perfect scenario, with only 2.5 inches to spare getting through the doorway and six inches to spare once inside the bathroom. To make things even better, once they managed to get the tub in (and they swore it wouldn’t go) they realized the floor was no where near level; let’s just say this wasn’t the plumber’s best day ever at work.

Anyways, back to my $53 update.

I decided that maybe we should try a grown up color, but painting all the walls would be just too dark. I decided on painting two of the walls with a shower curtain in a similar, but not matching, tone. The darker color really defines the space and makes it a much nicer space to be in. The bathroom will never be huge, but it is definitely a lot more pleasant.

after

after

after

after

Painting of the lake by our cabin. A relaxing scene to look at while soaking in the bath.

Painting of the lake by our cabin. A relaxing scene to look at while soaking in the bath.

February Morning Surprise

orchid

As I looked out my kitchen window this morning I was greeted by a pleasant surprise, my orchid had bloomed. This plant clearly survives on neglect as in the past year all I have done for it was the odd watering and a relocation to the kitchen window. Most of the year it has looked quite sad, but this morning it proved otherwise, a beautiful off white bloom brightening up a winter day.