How to dress up as an Art Gallery! 

How to dress up as an Art Gallery! 

My daughter decided that she wanted to dress up in matching costumes with her best friend, which sounds great, right? After some debating, they decided that her friend was going to be an artist, and she was going to be a gallery… What? A gallery?  What happened to a doggies or clowns! 

So, I do what I always do when confronted with a crafting dilemma… Or any dilemma for that matter… Google it! Or if that doesn’t work, try Pinterest. (Sometimes in the reverse order) but the only ideas I could find were costumes that were actual paintings, which were really cool, like the one below, but not what she had envisioned.

She didn’t want to be just one piece of art, she wanted to be the whole gallery! So, we started at fabric land and bought some gold leather-like fabric that we thought would work well to make picture frames.   
We cut out a bunch of frames in various sizes. Then, we cut some white rectangles to go inside of the frames. We ended up using some white leather scraps, and sharpies. She took the white squares into school and had a few of her friends design the pieces of art. Then we glued the artwork inside the frames. Here is what they looked like laid out on our kitchen floor.

And here is what Sam looked like laid out on our kitchen floor. Lol.  We used the same gold leather to cut out letters spelling “art gallery” and we wanted the make sure they were spaced out evenly so we put a dab of hot glue on each letter to hold them in place.


We also tacked down all of the artwork with a drop of hot glue. We wanted to make sure they were all appropriately placed, which was why we did it when she was wearing it as opposed to just laying it on the floor.

We did exactly the same thing to the pants.    

Then we decided that the back needed something, so we cut out and added some more letters.

She took off the shirt and pants and we glued around each frame and letter.

This is what she looked like on her way out to go trick-or-treating. We added a couple frames on her cheeks with face paint.  

And here is her and Dylan… 

I think it turned out well. The hardest part was coming up with the idea! But, she was happy, and that is the most important part. Im upset that I forgot to take a picture of her and her friend together in their costumes! I don’t know if you can tell by the looks on their faces, but they really weren’t that excited about making their friends wait for them to go trick-or-treating until I took a few photos…just wait until I tell them that I want a photo with Santa again this year! 

I know this post is a little late, but better late than never right? I’m just thinking of it as being really early for next year!  It has been a crazy couple of months, and I have lots of posts to catch up on! 

Say Thank You With a Pumpkin!

Say Thank You With a Pumpkin!

Wow, I can’t believe that it is the middle of October already! Time to post about some fall and Halloween projects!

It has been a crazy September and October with a lot going on, and I just haven’t had time to post lately. This project was a rushed one, and probably not the prettiest thing I have ever made. But we needed a gesture to show the nurses at St. Michaels Hospital that we appreciated their work… 

I stopped by Michaels Craft Store on the way home and picked up a couple fake pumpkins, some plant picks, and a bunch of candy. 


Here is a close up of the plant picks… I have never used them before, but they made things a lot easier. They were basically a thick tooth pick with a wire attached.  
  I started by drilling a bunch of holes in the pumpkin  

Then, I started with the bottom holes, and added a couple rows of lollipops.  

Then, I used a piece of tape to attach the plant picks to the Kit Kat bars….  

And continued working my way up the pumpkin…  

Adding Coffee Crisp, Aero, some Rockets, and finally Smarties. I also filled up a few of the bald or empty spots using some black curling ribbon, which you can kind of see in the picture.  

Then I drilled a few more holes on the bottom row and added some decorative leaves…  

Because it was a thank you to the nurses and doctors on the cardiac unit, I used this card as an inspiration and instead of saying “I love you with my whole heart” I wrote “we thank you with all of our hearts”   

Like I said, I wouldn’t say it was my prettiest gift ever, but it was easy enough that I would do again… I might just try to colour coordinate the treats more… Or use fruit, or even all the same toe of candy…

Anyways I better get going… Still haven’t decorated the outside of the house for Halloween yet! 

Wine cork Angels 

Wine cork Angels 

For some unexplained reason, I have saved the cork from every bottle of wine I have drank for the last couple of years… I’m not gonna tell you how many corks I have accumulated, but let’s just say it’s time to do some crafting! I found a few ideas for cork Christmas trees and wreaths on Pinterest, but I was just looking for something to do while I am sitting on the couch watching tv. So when I came across these cork Angels, I thought they were really cute.  

First step was to get a hole through the cork. I just used a bbq skewer with a pointed end, it poked right through without much difficulty. 

I then threaded a wire through the hole. I decided to use copper wire for this project, but obviously, any wire would work.  
I threaded on the head next. I have no idea where I got these little heads from, but they worked perfectly. If you can’t find any, you could easily draw a face on a plain bead using a sharpie. Before I cut the wire, i looped the top and twisted the end…  

Then, I cut the other end of the wire…  And twisted a few loops to hold it in place.Then, to make the wings, I wrapped the wire around my fingers four times, left a bit extra, and cut it off.  I pinched the wire in the center and used the excess to wrap around the middle.  Then spread out the loops in sort of a fan.  

And I poked the lose ends in the cork. 

That’s it! Very simple and rustic, but pretty cute! I think I might go back with a glue gun and add a little glue to hold the head so it is facing the right direction, and hold the wings in place.  

  So, I made a bunch…. What do you call a group of Angels? A pack? A flock? Anyways, I’m thinking I might add them to a wine bottle for Christmas gifts….


Look at these other ideas I found… I better crack open another bottle so I can keep up….


Medal and ribbon display!

Medal and ribbon display!

My next project this summer has been my son’s room… He has been asking me do do it all summer, so I finally caved. He wanted a sports theme, and was really interested in picking his own paint colour, so I took him to Home Depot, and check out the paint colour her picked!     

When we first moved into the house, he was about 6, and he decided that he really wanted a Van Gogh mural on his wall…. Ok, fine, I’ll admit it was totally my idea… But he did really like it! Here is what his room looked like before we painted…. (By painting I mean, sanding, priming, sanding again, then painting two more coats of the green! That Starry Night was quite a few layers of thick paint!) 

 I even painted a lot of the swirls with glow in the dark paint, so it looked even cooler with the lights off. I’m going to miss my Van Gogh, but totally understand his wanting to change it :( 

So, his request for a sports room wasn’t really a surprise. He has played on summer and winter soccer teams since he was 4, he has played baseball for the past 4 or 5 years, and he is now playing rep basketball. Put this together with school track and field, school basketball, and other school events, he has accumulated a few trophies, ribbons, and medals over the years. So after painting, we thought we would start with a way to display all of his awards. 

I started by buying a couple cheap curtain rods, and I found these curtain clips (I used the same type of clips for the diningroom curtains). I’ll show you a close up later…   

Here are some of his ribbons….


To hang the ribbons, we started by punching a hole in each ribbon. We tried it without the hole, and it worked, but they looked much flatter with the hole.  

Then, to open the clips, we just squeeze them open, and threaded them on the curtain rod.  

I bought enough hoops that we did all of the ribbons he had, plus we even have some left over for future ribbons…  I used the mounting hardware that came with the curtain rods, the hang up the rods….just two screws on each side…  

Then, we hung the rod and straightened out the ribbons.  And we hung a second curtain rod for his medals…    We were really happy with the little display. We put up shelves beside to display his trophies too…

The thing I like about this display is that there is room to grow. We can keep adding ribbons, trophies, and medals as the years pass by. 

Now that we have found a great way to display his accomplishments, our next project  is to make some artwork for the walls…we still need to tone down the green a little! 

Btw, I thought I would share this too… Before we painted and moved his furniture, we used this app to see what it would look like. It actually saved us some time and energy because we could move around the furniture and then see what it would look like in the 3D view. The app is called interior design… 

This is the before….


And the after…

Wish I could show you the 360 view!  

We adjusted the virtual furniture so it was approximately the same size as his real furniture, and we tried a few different arrangements before we found one we liked. Much easier than moving the real stuff!

Easy Peasy lace curtains

Easy Peasy lace curtains

As part of my summer diningroom makeover project, I needed some quick and easy curtains to finish it up. Our diningroom had shutters, so the purpose of the curtains was purely decorative. I wanted something antique and delicate looking, so I was excited when I found this lace at Fabricland…


I also bought these curtain rods, and clips which were both on sale.   

The rods and rings were just what I wanted, and for the right price, so I bought them, but the problem was that I wanted them to be silver, so I gave them a really quick sand wih some very fine sandpaper, broke out the silver spraypaint, and started spraying. 

To evenly coat the rings with the spray paint, I clipped them onto a roll of newspaper so I could spray one side, then flip them all over at once.  

And I gave the rods a quick coat of silver too.  The rings I bought open when you squeeze them, so I just had to sew a quick seam to turn under the top an bottom of the curtains, then clip them on! (I liked these so much I bought some more for another project… Will keep you posted)   I didn’t even measure, I just folded the fabric a few times and clipped the rings on the folds.   Then, I screwed in the brackets that came with the rods, hung them on, and popped them into place. Easiest curtains I have ever made… And cute too! 

Here they are, done and hung!   

As you can see, I tied them back, and my plan is to add a little hook on the wall to hold them back. I’ve added hooks to my list for the next time I am at Home Depot.

The last two little things I need to do to the diningroom is add the curtain hooks, and  I still have to attach the drawer pulls to the buffet…. But the good news is, the chairs are all done! 

Diningroom is Done! 

Diningroom is Done! 

 Yahoo! I am finally ready to share our new diningroom! If you follow my blog, I have posted a couple times this summer about how to refinish chairs and antiquing furniture, as this has been a summer long project….but now everything is done and I’m ready for the grand reveal!  I will fully admit that I did get a little carried away. I was just supposed to be recovering a couple chairs in June. But we ended up redoing the whole room top to bottom. This is what it looked like before…     It wasn’t horrible…It wasn’t my favourite room in the house, but I could live with it. But then, I bought these cool chairs! My plan was to paint and reupholster them, but they wouldn’t fit under my table! 

So I decided that we might as well update the dining room. I sold all of our furniture, including our table and chairs, as well as the hutch, (and most of the stuff inside of them too) and I bought this beauty of a table for $100 off of Kijiji….  

And was given this hutch that my grandfather made…  

Plus, I decided to keep the buffet from our old set. We still need storage for John’s frequent trips to Costco… So we had a hutch, table, chairs, and a buffet, none of which were the same colour, style or finish. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me, so I busted out my favourite Behr paint (cottage white)..

 Btw, am I the only one that thinks he paint colour names are important? John and I have an ongoing debate…

We sanded, painted, and antiqued the table…

  Buffet and hutch….

And reupholstered and painted the chairs…

We also repainted the dining room and I bought some fancy blue and white China…. (Ask me about that deal next time you see me…. Fantastic Facebook buy and sell deal… Thanks for hooking me up Marlee! -see I gave you credit this time!) 

And tada! (Imagine a drumroll here …….)


Still a couple details to finish, like sewing the table runner, and hanging the chandelier I bought….(another great facebook deal) I just have to figure out what the weight limit is for a standard chandelier… Any one know? 

 Anyways, I am really happy with the the way everything works together now. I think all the old mismatched pieces work pretty well together. The best part is that by the time I sold all of our existing furniture, and some of the stuff inside of the hutch, we ended up making over $1000 dollars! Not bad eh? 

We have also been working on redecorating Dylan’s room… Stay tuned for some great sports decorating ideas! 

5 Minute Watermelon Fruit Flan

5 Minute Watermelon Fruit Flan


So I saw this picture on pinterest, and thought “we can do that” (which by the way, I think about almost everything I see on Pinterest) but the difference is we actually tried this one…. The boys were away all week at camp, and we thought they needed a special dessert to come home to.

We bought a plain shell from the grocery store, as well as some raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, chocolate chips, and vanilla pudding. I think you are supposed to use custard, but I couldn’t find it ready-made in the grocery store, and didn’t want to have to buy and make it from the powder, or scratch… So I thought vanilla pudding would work just as well!   

So, we cracked open two pudding cups and spread them around.   

Then we peeled and sliced some kiwi, and placed them nicely around the edge. It took two kiwis.   

Then we cut up strawberries and tried to place them so the skin was facing out.   

And we thought some raspberries would be yummy too, so we scattered them around.  

And we filled in the middle with strawberries.Then added chocolate chips for the seeds.      

The boys couldn’t tell that it was supposed to be a watermelon, but they were impressed anyways…I think it was easier to see the watermelon resemblance when it was sliced.    
And the most important thing was that it was yummy! 

Btw, I am just about finished the diningroom. Have also just redecorated Dylan’s room- working on a sports theme! Can’t wait to show you pics!

Antiquing furniture

Antiquing furniture

I can’t believe it is August already! July has flown by as it usually does. I wanted to share with you what has been taking up most of my time in the last few weeks… Here is a quick update for those of you who haven’t read the last few posts of my blog…l bought these beautiful chairs on Kijiji for a great price…

I ended up getting a little carried away, planning to refinish some for the dining room, and also a couple for the family room, but I changed my mind on the family room and then they wouldn’t fit under the diningroom table. So, I ended up with a few extra. So, i refinished the ones I didn’t want, and sold them…. Here are pictures of the ones I have already finished and sold…


Made and sold two of these black and white ones…
Also made and sold two of these ones…  

Refinished and sold just one like this…  

And did two like this for John’s mom…  

And, after finishing this one, I decided that I really wanted to keep a few for the dining room….(By a few, I mean 8…. If you are counting, that is 16 in total! Lol)


So, as I already mentioned, the chairs didn’t fit under our table…so I had no choice but to sell my dining room table, chairs, and hutch... That makes sense right? Don’t worry, I am completely aware of how ridiculous that sounds… 

Here are a couple pics of the diningroom furniture I used to have…


And, here are some pics of the mismatched pieces I had to start with… A hutch that my grandfather made, which I really wanted to keep… 


A buffet that John’s parents gave to us when they moved out of their house (and I painted black)…
A table I bought off of Kijiji last week (pictured in the back of my van in pieces… What was I thinking?)    

And, eight of my chairs… Which I still need to finish… 

As you can see, none of the pieces are new (or even nice looking!), none of them even remotely match each other, and they all need to be refinished. Whew. (But, before you think I have totally lost it, by the time I have redecorated and have my completely new diningroom set, I will have made well over $1000 more than I spent… So hours and hours of work + old furniture + selling perfectly fine existing furniture = $1000!) im not quite so crazy now am I ?

I’m not ready to show you my new dining room yet, but I will let you in on the technique I used to paint all of the furniture. 

I started by sanding everything. Sounds like a lot of work, but I just sanded enough to take the shine off. I used a mouse sander, and just did a quick sanding. I am a loyal Behr paint customer. It is the only paint I use for furniture and walls. For these pieces I used the Behr paint and primer in one, so no need to switch paints. With most of the pieces, I did however need 3 coats of paint. You can see on the photo below what it looked like after the first coat, then the second coat.


I was debating whether I should antique all of the surfaces, but then as I was painting, I noticed a few places that the paint had started to already come off, like the hinges…  

So, I figured, rather that stressing everytime a chair bumped into the table, or one of the kids swung the door open too wide, I would just rough it up myself…so here is what it looked like with three shiny new coats of paint…  

Then, I gently rubbed off all of the spots I thought would be bumped and worn anyways with a piece of fine grind sandpaper (150 grit) this piece was the buffet that was black, so I sanded really lightly so I didn’t end up with huge black patches…  

My favourite parts to antique were the parts with the details, like the corners…  

Then, to make it look a little more aged, I used a light brown chestnut gel stain, and painted it in the cracks with a fine brush.  

Then used a cloth to wipe it off, leaving just a little in the cracks…    

Like I said, I have a bit more painting and stapling to do before I show you the whole diningroom, but I used the same technique for the chairs… 

 The table… 


And the hutch… 

 I also bought some antique looking types of drawer pulls and knobs. 


 But, that’s all you get to see for now… After putting in a few long days in a row of sanding and painting, my arms were aching, and I was starting to lose feeling in my fingers, so I got a lecture from my mom, and was told to take a break. (Thanks mom, love you for caring!) So, it’s getting done, but I’m paying close attention to my wrist and working slowly, just like my mom told me.

I will be sure to send you pictures of the whole dining room when everything is done! 

Yummy summer Pasta Salad

Yummy summer Pasta Salad

it is our first year planting the garden in cedar boxes on the pool deck. Although we have a lot of space in our backyard, the pool deck is the only place where there is sun in the afternoon, and the only spot where the rabbits haven’t seem to have figured out yet….

So as you can see, most of the seeds I planted in the spring are doing really well… We will have a lot of tomatoes, cucucumbers and zucchini…


Every time I go out, we have a whole bunch of snow peas, ready to go! We have been eating them right off of the plant and steaming them, but sometimes they are a little tough or stringy. So, one of my favourite ways to eat them is in a pasta salad. Plus, we have so many visitors over the summer, I always keep a couple salads in the fridge just in case! 

 Start by cutting off the tops and bottoms, and getting rid of any of the stringy bits you can, then, cut them into smaller pieces, 4 or 5 pieces each. I love adding them to pasta salad because I find that even if they are a little stringy or chewy, the smaller pieces, in combination with the pasta makes it barely noticeable..

 One of my favourite herbs is dill, and I am lucky that is seems to really grow well in our garden. So I picked a handful and chopped it into little pieces too…  I didn’t do such a great job of taking photos, but this isn’t an incredibly complicated recipe. I cooked a couple cups of pasta, added a couple tablespoons of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice, and tossed it all together with the snow peas.  

Then, I thought it needed some colour, so I added some red pepper…     

That’s it. I find that it makes the best pasta salad when you mix everything together when the pasta is still warm, and put it in the fridge to cool. But, I always taste it before serving, as it may need a little more oil and vinegar added before serving. Enjoy! 

My day was just peachy!

My day was just peachy!

We were lucky enough to be invited up to a cottage at the end of last week, and while we were up there, I found a flyer for a truckload delivery of Georgia peaches. They had scheduled deliveries in the area where you could buy a freshly picked box of peaches right off the truck… Sounds perfect, right? I know!

Anyways, I showed up at 10:00, picked up my peaches, and the woman said to leave them at room temperature for two days, then they would be ready to eat. So that’s exactly what I did… We got home from the cottage, unpacked, and had people over Saturday and Sunday, then yesterday, I suddenly realized that I had this huge box of ripe peaches that needed to be used….immediately. Just peachy! But check them out, these were some beautiful peaches!


So I peeled, and cut up a whole bunch to freeze to make smoothies with….

I made two batches of peach jam…


And, I made banana and peach muffins…. 

I was pretty pleased with myself, until I took a closer look in the box…seriously? That barely made a dent! 

So I made three batches of canned peaches…


And, two more batches of jam, this time peach & cherry, and peach & strawberry… (Btw…starting to get a little tired of peaches, at this point I called in for some back up…lol… Couldn’t help posting this pic on facebook) 


And still lots of peaches left! So, I made two peach pies…
And still had some leftover for eating!

So, inbetween all of my peach baking, and preserving, we had workers in and out of our house working on our fireplaces, and company over! But I managed to use almost the entire box without throwing out an entire peach! 

Oh, I almost forgot, I also sold our diningroom set yesterday, so I am pretty committed now to finishing 8 more chairs, and a table I am picking up today…here is our diningroom now… 


Can’t wait to show you the updates…

I also took some detailed pics of making the canned peaches, and peach pie, so I will post recipes soon…you know, in all my free time lol.