Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fun and Thrifty

The "FUN"

This time of year is always a blur- there's swimming lessons, dance lessons,  and of course the beginning of the newest season......SOCCER!! 
Here's our little lady all done up and ready for her first game of the year:

(Not sure I am a big fan of her uniform colours this year. I much preferred last year's teal  blue.  Regardless - she  still looks darn cute!)

Later in the week, we took the kids for a quick visit to the nearest fun farm/shop, Springridge Farm.  We LOVE it here all year long.  On this particular day, we shopped for snacks and coffee only. The farm is located at the side of the escarpment and has lovely views from every angle.

Our youngest boy opted for "pie" as his snack of the day.  On this day it's strawberry peach. Yummy!

The "Thrifty"

Oh! Did I ever get some great finds at the thrift stores in the last week or so! 

For eating/serving I grabbed this wooden watermelon platter, a raspberry-covered serving jug, a wooden cake stand (this is getting a re-paint) and this pale aqua daisy plate.  

On a flowery theme, I picked up this hand-painted jewellery box, a pink and white porcelain picture frame (for little lady's bedroom) and the most heart-stopping item of them all - a hand-embroidered, wood handled  purse.  I saw it and I KNEW I had to have it.  Then I saw the price - $2.99!!!! SOLD! It doesn't hold much, but it is perfect for date night when I only have carry my phone, my debit card and some lipstick!

To round out my thrifty finds, I plan on turning these $2.00 spires into something prettier than their current golden state.  And these shoes - not thrifted , but still inexpensive from Target. Love the preppy look they have going for them (thought the first day I wore them they gave me blisters!)

(By the way - I am loving the new collage feature at PicMonkey.  These photo groupings were so easy to do!!)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jam Jars - Dressed Up and Ready to Give Away!

My Mom was recently cleaning out her rather large freezer to make room for this year's produce.  Her freezer was bursting at the seams so I offered to take tons of frozen berries off of her hands!  I knew exactly what I was going to do with those cherries, thimbleberries and strawberries - JAM!!!

Don't they look scrumptious simmering together on the stove??

By the end of the 45 minute jam making session, I had 10 jars of thick, maroon-coloured goodness.  

That's a lot of jam.  Now, we go through A LOT of it in our home, but with plans to make strawberry, currant and  peach jam during the upcoming fresh-fruit season, I figured I could gussy up a few bottles to give away (Yes- there is a bottle or two here for you, Jim!)

Here is one way to dress up a plain canning jar - kraft paper and twine.  Simple and rustic.

How about the old stand-by ( yet still so pretty!) - fabric and ribbon.

And what about some lace?  This length of crocheted goodness was given to me by my hubby's grandmother.  I glue-gunned it on and fastened the seam at the back.

Did you notice my labels?  I printed them for free from here.

There we go.  Three jars filled, and made as yummy on the outside as they are on the inside!

When I was done jam-making I had a lot of berry juice leftover. I couldn't bear to dump the flavourful red liquid so  I poured it in some freezer popsicle molds  to enjoy later that day.

And BOY!  Were they ENJOYED!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Now, That is MUCH Prettier!

Last year I painted my daughter's desk this lovely shade. It's Behr's "Raspberry Lemonade." Yep. We picked it because of the colour name. 

It looked good for several months, but my daughter is CRAFTER.  Like they say - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and if the little lady has any free time she can be found at her little pink desk "arting."  Uh-huh.  Art is a verb around here.  

So, as you can see, the desk is getting a little rough looking.  Last night, I gave the whole thing a re-paint.  

Hmmm.......Pink is cute, but kinda boring.

How to dress it up a little??   A couple of months ago I purchased a stencil to add pattern to the kid's bathroom walls. I haven't used it yet....  But really, I should try it out on something smaller first, right??

Well - lookie here!! Now that looks cool!  I used a can of creamy white I had lying around and in just under an hour, I had taken the desk from plain pink to pizazz!!

The stencil was just a little bit too small for the surface of the desk.  So, I had to use a lot of painters tape and a bit of stencil-jigging, but I managed to continue the pattern perfectly across the whole surface.  

Now after all of this work, the last thing I wanted to do was put the desk back in her room and have it ruined in mere days! So I purchased some of that clear plastic covering your grandma used to have over her couch or across her prized table cloth. You know the stuff I mean??

I cut it to fit the tabletop with a little extra so that I could staple it underneath the table surface and hold it in place.  

And here it is- back in her room and ready for the next session of "arting!"

I took some time to tidy everything up and give all of her favourite items a quick dust and a "restyling."

She received this bunny for Easter a few years back.  She likes to keep it high and out of reach from her little brother.  The tulips  were her choice too- purchased with a birthday present Michaels giftcard.

There we go - a nice freshening up.  Pastel-ly and perfect for spring.  And in my daughter's words:

"Now, that is MUCH prettier!"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Another One for the Pretty Pile

After finishing a few larger knitting and crocheting projects, I decided I needed a small-ish take along project that could easily be tossed in my bag as we travelled here and there with our 3 children over the next few weeks.  

A long time ago I  had pinned Bunny Mummy's  crocheted hexagon pattern and I figured it was as good of time as ever to give it a try.  

So I picked a plethora of bright, rainbow colours from my stash and got to work:

Gosh! How I love watching those hexis pile up!

After I had 10 of each colour I began stitching them together.  Even though I LOVED the stacked rainbow hexis, I wasn't really sure if I enjoyed them in the random fashion shown here:

But I went with it and I am glad I did. 
Of course, this afghan was supposed to use up some of those odd balls of yarn that had been kicking around.  But by the end, I had to buy more lime green and more purple to finish it up.  Back those 2 balls went - into my stash!!

After the hexis were sewn together, I crocheted a thick edging of rainbow double crochets.  

I think the border is may favourite part!!

It was hard to photograph this baby sized blanket inside.  I could never get the true colours  of the yarn.  So on a sunny day last week, my blanket posed in  a few places in the yard.   

Here he is lounging on the Muskoka chair:

And draped over a yet-to-be-planted window box. 

And here he is in full effect....


When I look at this picture I see that some of my edging is kind of wonky, but it adds charm, right??

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Liebster Award

Elisa over at "Home Sweet Nest" has honoured me with the ....

The German word "liebster" translates into English as "beloved" or "favorite". This award is given to new up and coming bloggers
that have less than 200 followers.

Thank-you so much, Elisa!!

(If you haven't checked out Elisa's blog, you should do so soon! Her ideas are fresh and new and your images are gorgeous!)

In order to accept this award, I must...
1. Link back to the person who gave it to me.

2. Post the award to your blog.  Done!

3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.

Here are my picks:

4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know they have been offered this award.  Done!!

5. Share 5 random facts about yourself.


1.  The only tea I will drink is Orange Pekoe. 

2.  I was married on the 18th of May, 2002 and it snowed!!

3. My oldest son is a brain tumour survivour.  He was diagnosed at 6 and is now 15 months tumour-free!

4.  I am a classically trained singer.  I was told on many occasions that I had a future on the opera/concert stage but I walked away from it in pursuit of the family I had always wanted.  

5.  I am related to Walt Disney.  

Thanks again, Elisa!  

Monday, May 21, 2012

The First Long Weekend of Summer 2012 in Pictures

This weekend marked the beginning of summer here in my part of Canada.  The weather was perfect and we took full advantage.  

Here is a pictorial essay of our weekend:
(Be warned! There are A LOT of pictures here!)
Here is Bryn keeping up with our hamster, Bolts, in the exercise ball.
My mother had given me a ton of frozen fruit - so I turned it  into a mixed berry jam - YUM!
Saturday morning we met a friend and her kids at the park. Before hitting the slide, we visited the cottage-style garden.
I was interested in checking out the alium.....
...and the gorgeous poppies, while the kids wanted to look at ......

...the FROGS!!

After meeting up with my friend the kids were quite disappointed that we hadn't packed their bathing suits.  So, instead they all quietly watched the shooting water at the splash pad.  Hee, hee.

Once home again later that day, we took full advantageof the weather and...

...rode on the swings

...played in the sprinkler

...ate homemade popsicles

...potted and planted my annuals

and painted some outdoor furniture.

For an afternoon snack, we tried some cookies from the local bakery.  The sugar cookies were good. But the macarons were divine!

And this is who sat and played LEGO beside me this morning while I ate breakfast.  Isn't he the cutest little wizard??

Sunday, May 20, 2012

One Chair - 3 Generations of Comfort

I can remember this lounge chair in some of my earliest memories.  My parents bought it in the early 1980s  as part of a set of outdoor furniture.  It sat on our back patio and I am sure my sisters and must have pretended on it for hours.  Sometimes it was ship, other times it was  our princess bed with room for three of the fairest damsels in the land.  

Back then, it was dark brown (like lots of things from that era!).  Later in the '80s, we moved onto our little hobby farm.  Here, the lounger became part of the pool room's decor, painted royal blue.  When my parents moved back into town just before I got married 10 years ago, my mom gave it one final coat of colour - white.  

As you can see now, all three of this loungers "colour lives" are showing through.  And it is far from pretty!!  In fact, Mom was done with the lounger.  All the other pieces of the set have already gone to furniture heaven and the lounger was the last  surviving piece. Mom was going to put it out for garbage pick up - until I stepped in for the rescue!!

Mom and Dad always found the lounger quite comfortable.   Dad would read "Sports Illustrated" on  it and Mom would sunbathe for 20minutes a day on it all summer long.  And, of course, my sisters and I made countless phone calls to our friends lounged on its wooden seat.  I just couldn't bear to see it make its exit from our family.  So, of course, you can guess what I did with it........

Hello, "Ocean Kiss" (Behr) and Hello lovely lounger!!

I took my daughter with me to the Home Depot and let her choose the  colour.  I narrowed it down to a green, yellow or blue and let her choose the paint chip.  I want she and her brothers to love this chair as much as my sisters and I did, so the colour choice would be key!

I used the Behr product that is primer and paint in one.  It made this job so easy!!  The horrible, chippy mess that once defined the look of the lounger virtually disappeared in one coat of paint!  I went back and did some touch ups on the really dark areas, but another than that,  it was one coat!!

And do you see my cute little side table?  I bought it at Goodwill for $4.99 - and it was already painted this creamy colour! It is the perfect place to put my Mother's Day bouquet.  

I'd say she gives the chair a smiley 2-thumbs up!

And my biggest boy looks pretty comfy here,

And littlest dude looks like he could spend all day here.  He said he *might* nap here
 tomorrow.  Well see!

I couldn't leave you without a shot of my gorgeous clematis flowers.  One day my vine was a mass of green leaves - and the next it was covered in blooms.  OH! I love this warm weather!!