Terrible Blogger gives an update!

I feel very badly for not posting.  There’s really no reason to feel that way because I don’t have many followers so no one really even knows I haven’t posted much.  LOL  So anyway, there’s a good reason for lack of writing.  Pretty much I’ve been busy remodeling our new house and getting the current house ready to move into said new-slash-old house!.

That being said… here are some before and during photos… After will come when we are ready to move in. 🙂
   
This is the first time we saw the house.  That’s my sweet Chop knocking on the door to make sure we could see it that day. 

These are the loafing sheds on the property.  There are 5 acres here for us to play with! 

  I look at this picture – no leaves on the trees, no weeds in the corral… and it wasn’t ours yet.

This is the back of the house .

   

This is our back “yard” – The Little Thompson River

This is our lil pond beyond our deck.  Those are the gorgeous Rocky Mountains being blocked by haze and clouds…  
This is the converted pole barn – it’s now  a guest house.

 

This is the amazing jet tub… nuff said. 

This is the master bath.  

This is the sun room  

This is the other side of the sun room   

This old plate rack charmed me – and to my joy, it stayed with the house.  

This is the master bedroom bay window  

This is the living area bay window  


This is the slider to the patio in the living area.  We took out the little dog door almost the day we got the house.  

This is the guest room bathroom – and my finger.  oops  

This is the balcony in the guest suite overlooking the pond.  Until we get the barn built, this lovely are will be used for storage!  But!  We do hope you’ll come visit once it’s “up and running.”

This is the little shed – our only storage right now – I think it will make a great chicken house one day!   

 This is a sneak peak at how far we’ve come… This is that same bay window in the living area.  There are SO many other changes we’ve made! But I want to draw this out so… till next time 🙂

Keep smiling – and love one another!

<3Jill 

Easter Minimalist Decor

As much as I love decorating, I don’t tend to be one for a lot of seasonal decorations.  Growing up my Mom made our house very festive and I always felt “cozy” with the traditional decor she’d bring out each season and holiday. I’m not against going all out per se, for some reason it’s just not me.  I love looking at Christmas lights and I’ve really enjoyed seeing so many beautiful Easter tables (and Christmas tables, and Thanksgiving tables…. hmmm… is the table a theme??? Ha ha.) on my favourite blogs and Pinterest.  Truth be told, I prefer to “decorate for daily living” and add some special touches here and there.

  

I think when my sons were small, I tried to do more to give them the “spirit” of the holiday but now as an “empty nester” I prefer a more subtle touch.  

   

       

One more daffodil that I adore from my sweet Chop made by a dear friend in Mexico.

  

Love her stuff!  Have a look HERE!  

Happy Easter everyone.  Remember why we celebrate – and decorate as you will 🙂

Jill

Where Have I Been??!!

Oh my beloved (3) followers… have you given up all hope in me?  Felt for sure I dropped off the planet?? Not really noticed I’ve not written in a couple weeks?? Ha!  Well, I must apologise regardless of readership.  It’s just the right thing to do.  

But I have a very good excuse slash reason!  A couple of them even!  I had a long-planned girls weekend dropped right on top of my son’s High School Graduation weekend… Seriously?!  Who does that??!  

So here’s the story, the girlfriends from pre-school, elementary school, jr. high school and forever all met up and we had yummy Mexican dinner then went to see a college production of “Children of Eden.”  I’d never seen it and thought, while some of the messages were good, it was “okay.”  Don’t be a hater – I’m a Les Mis girl.  It wasn’t Les Mis… period.  After the play, we went to our vacation rental and talked until we could no longer hold our 40+ year old eyelids open then went to bed.  Hung out the next day and that was fab.  Can’t have too much girl time. 

That night I drove to the hotel by the airport because I had a way early flight AND it was “Spring Forward” night – seriously? Again?! Why must we keep doing this clock nonsence?  Through no small miracle, I made my o’dark-thirty flight to Portland….



And oh my!!!! Daffodils were in FULL BLOOM and all over creation! JOY JOY JOY JOY JOY! My sister’s beau took this little picture of me admiring my favourite thing in the world… ahh bliss!

I had worked for months to pull off a surprise appearance at my son’s Diploma Presentation (heck I even prepared the solo pomp and circumstance event!) and he was shocked to see me.  I bawled.  Fabulous moment.  So proud of my baby boy.

Then, we got to spend some time on a lovely farm with my birth-Mama.  Chickens, goats, turkeys, goats, ducks, geese, pups, kitties, daffodils… tea, puzzles, my sister, niece, mama, son, and great-nephew…. what more could a girl wish for!?  





Thank you for your patience and understanding in my absence… I came home and promptly got a nasty cold and sore throat.  I figure I’m better when I can no longer refrain from picking up my paintbrush…  

Jill

Testing Techniques…

I am absolutely loving the trend of image transfers onto furniture.  I thought it would be fun to try it but wasn’t sure which technique (and there are many) I wanted to try first.  So, me being me, simple came to mind!  (Remember – it’s not “lazy” it’s “extremely efficient”!)

I had seen on Pinterest using wax paper and an ink jet printer to transfer images and it really seemed like the easiest way.  So, I really wanted to give that a try.  I had in my mind a lovely pattern of ships on top of one of my latest pieces – a beachy cottage coffee table.

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Only problem here?  Trust in the technique!  So I had to try it on another piece that wasn’t so critical.  Not that this one couldn’t be fixed if I messed it up with the transfer…. Just want to not have to if not necessary.

I’d been working on painting a plant stand in Old Ochre and finished painting it yesterday.  It has these lovely little tiers that beckoned me to put something (other than a plant) on it… So….

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Ta da!  It worked!  Here’s the process I followed.

I have this lovely sheet of paper with fabulous ships all over it.  I simply placed it on the copier (which is an ink jet printer).  Then, I must confess failure first… I tried placing the wax paper under the paper roller first.  When I hit “copy” —– CRUNCH! Nope!  I had to take apart the printer and dig out the crumpled mass of wax paper.  This time, I used scotch tape and taped my sheet of wax paper to a plain old sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper.  Then I hit copy.  It seemed to work beautifully!  I could BARELY see the image on the wax paper so that sort of concerned me but I was not deterred.  I placed the wax paper (after carefully removing it from the regular sheet of paper) image side down onto my plant stand and held on tight.  The DIY’s I’ve read said to use a credit card to press the image onto the board or surface.  I have a wonderful teflon bone folder I use for lots of things (particularly book binding) and used it to rub the image firmly all over.  I literally watched as it darkened before my eyes in the transfer process.

I will say, the how-to’s I’ve read suggested lightly wetting the surface you are printing with water – those were unpainted surfaces.  I didn’t do it here, but think I will try using my spray bottle on the next attempt just to see if the image darkens a bit better on a painted surface.  Another thing to try is using  one side versus the other of the wax paper.  I had a tough time telling which (if either) side was “better” for the job so I’ll run this test later.  Maybe it doesn’t make one bit of difference.

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I’m going to practice a bit more before I attempt to do a large scale piece like the coffee table.  Another option is to download your image – flip it – then print it.  I didn’t flip my image because it’s a ship.  Not words that could be read as lots of image transfers are.

I also think it would work with colour.  Oh! and I let the image “set” for about 10 minutes and then simply waxed the piece with my clear wax as normal.

What do you think?

Jill

The Painted Chair…

Don’t think I ever commented on the finished product?! After 3 days and 3 coats of paint (24 hour dry time in between each coat) I finally felt I could move on to painting the frame of the chair.

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I had painted the entire chair, upholstery and frame, using Country Grey.  Once I was satisfied with the saturation level of the upholstery, I moved to focusing on the frame. For that I chose French Linen. I really wanted a very relaxed neutral tone for the piece as it would be going in my bedroom. I had already finished the pillow and thought the chair could draw its colour and balance from that, but also could be a subtle, quiet piece on its own as well. image image image image image

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For the the pillow I used some outdoor upholstery fabric I had on hand and made an envelope style pillow. No zipper. No closing seam. Very easy and looks finished. I did then sew three heart buttons on that I bought last summer whilst at Annie Sloan’s shoppe in Oxford. I think it all adds just the right amount of contrast and balance to the very neutral chair.

Heres The final product. Distressed a bit with 100 grit sandpaper and coated over the frame with clear wax. The upholstery was solid enough on its own so I saw no need to wax it to give it what I felt would have been a “rougher” look and feel.

What do you think? Not bad for $10.00!

❤️

Jill

Seashell Necklace Update…

image Sand Dollar

I finally got my materials for working on the seashell necklaces!! Woo hoo!!

Remember this?

IMG_0072 The Cache

Well, I went to the hardware store and invested in a dremmel bit that drills through glass. Then started drilling! It worked! Then I had to determine what I wanted to use to make the actual necklace. So, I thought versatility and made four different kinds. (Velvet ribbon, thin tulle ribbon, wider tulle ribbon, and silver chain.) I will probably come up with more as I go along.  Leather, ribbon of various types, cording, lace, etc.

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image Anchor of hope.

image Flip Flop

I’m going to offer them on my etsy site as a custom order item.  Choose your charm, shell size, cording, and length.  If you’d like, you can even special request a particular charm and I’ll see if I can find it!

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I hand picked every single shell from the beach in Mexico myself.  Cleaned them up and…. well, what do YOU think?

 

Jill

YES! You Can Paint Furniture – The Upholstery Part!

When one thinks of ‘painted furniture’ I think for the most part we tend to think of things like dressers, armoirs, tables etc. But do we think of the actual fabric and painting that? Well, if you’re using the right paint, you absolutely should!

I’ve not done it a lot simply because I haven’t found the right pieces (yet). I look constantly and aquire as I can. One such piece I found and fell in love with immediately because it was so unique! Some people (my sweet Chop… cough cough) hated it. That was just more fuel for my fire! I had a cackle at that and cried, “I can make you love it!!!” (I’m not sure it ever worked.)

So, to refresh… here are some shots of the couch I affectionately call, “The Seat of Grace”

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This couch is only partially painted on the upholstery, primarily because as I worked on it it “evolved.” I often feel like the piece “tells me” how it wants to look somehow. This piece started out with natural oak as the frame and I started by painting it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in “Paloma.” Once I had the oak done and the back of the couch’s upholstery with one coat, I thought it needed a stronger colour because it’s such a strong piece. It’s huge and heavy! So, I painted over the Paloma with “Graphite” and was much happier. It set such a nice contrast with the velvet red cushions so I decided to just leave the front upholstery alone. Then, I went over the back with a coat of Graphite for just a little contrast and, because I really did want to use the Paloma in the piece, I stenciled on the arms and back with it. I think it was great! (While he’s too sweet to say otherwise, I’m not sure my Sweet Chop changed his opinion.) I knew it would take a special home to go to and it was sold very quickly to a sweet gal near Yellowstone National Park. Ahh… that’s another story.

So! This week’s adventures found this chair.
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Clearly, accepted into the fold and christened by Miss Gray. After much, MUCH pondering and looking at chairs on Pinterest, I finally decided on “Country Grey” (for reference, I pretty much exclusively use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®. So when I mention a colour, that’s the brand.)

To paint upholstery, it’s fairly easy. I do a mix of 50% paint to 50% water in a bowl. Then I use a spray bottle of water to mist the upholstery pretty well before I paint. Here’s how it looks when you start out. It’s scary because you think it’s not going to cover. Patience, my young padoan. It takes COATS.

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I was really impressed with this one because the blue is a dark navy and I was using a fairly light colour, but it covered nicely. I went over the entire chair, nailheads and all, and really worked to get the paint to cover all the crooks and nannies. This is where my desire to finish projects in a day has to be checked. Because it ain’t happenin when you paint upholstery. Period. It’s 24 hours dry time in between coats. Which worked out well this time because SOMEONE wanted dinner prepared.

So here’s how I left it last evening. I’ll do another coat today with the same procedure.

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I’m still deciding if I want to go over the frame in a different colour or not. I’m leaning toward “Paris Gray” but we shall see!


Jill

Bedside Table in a Day…

What is your favourite part of the day?  I have two parts – coffee and the rest of the day.  Usually, “the rest” involves some cooking, some cleaning (yuk), playing with my animals, some sort of artistic endeavor, and reading.  I read every day.  It may be a magazine, novel, how-to book, my devotional, the Bible, blogs, etc. etc.  Reading is huge in this house.  And not just for me.  My better half, Chuck, is also an avid reader.  He reads to relax before going to sleep, he reads for his work, he reads INSTRUCTIONS!! (Yep! We have a winner! Man reads directions.  He shall go down in history as evolved!  His superhero name? LEARNED MAN!) OK move along…

I’ve little by little been working in the pieces of our home that I’ve wanted to refinish with my beloved Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®.  But before I show you this project, I thought I’d let you in on a little of my world and show you the piles around that say, “Reading people live here.”  Please ignore the mess.

image Miss Gray napping on the recliner with my issue of The Cottage Journal – must deovte much time with silence to read this one.  It waits paitently …

imageMagazines on the table with more magazines should I finish the above-mentioned read.

image Bookcase of my collection of antique books, maps and Peanuts books.  Along with a few other precious items.

image My actually not-as-messy-as-usual nightstand…

image The Diva Lady Oreo who was on the bed by my nightstand and INSISTED on having her photo as part of the day’s events.  (She’s cute – we’ll allow it.)

And FINALLY….. My Sweet Chop’s nightstand as it ended up this morning.  (Post his re-arranging and reading last night after I painted it!)

image Ta da!  Now for the before and after shot…

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image Bedside table – done in a day bcause the reader MUST HAVE THE LAMP AND TABLE WHEREUPON SAID BOOKS RESIDE each night!!!

I pulled out the drawer, removed the handle, painted the drawer in “Chateau Grey”.  Then painted the table in “Old White” distressed heavily with 100grit sandpaper and waxed with clear wax.  Put the handle back on and loaded it back up!  Whew!  I love the versitility of ASCP and the speed with which one can complete a project!  This literally took me 3 and a half hours total.  From start to finish.  I mean SOMEONE had to cook dinner!

Jill