September 29, 2009

A Busy Life - - -

Life has been so busy lately that I have fallen behind on my blogging, and am feeling guilty (as if I need one more thing to feel guilty about!).  So this post will be a mish mash of topics to update you and ease the guilt somewhat…

At the end of July I was lucky enough to win a Giveaway from DesignTies.  I won a really cool painting by artist Matt Leblanc, a fellow Canadian from New Brunswick.  Matt picked my suggestion of “Fiamma” to name the painting. 

matt_2_thumb[2] After I won I made arrangements with Kelly from DesignTies to meet and pick up the painting.  Well, four and a half hours of later, I had a cool new painting and a neat new friend who just happened to be the cousin of a girl I went to elementary school with many – many years ago – in Montreal - it really IS a small world!

Back to the painting  - as you can see Fiamma is a beautiful blend of yellows, reds, oranges with some depth added with  a deep black.  She is awaiting a new spot in my home as soon as we finish our fall painting projects!  I will definitely post about her new home when it happens.

As a birthday gift this year my hubby and daughters gifted me with family photos with a local photographer Robin Andrew who has a really interesting concept for her photography business “unposed”.   Not your typical family photo session, the six of us (pups included) had a lot of fun being totally unposed .  I haven’t got any of the digital images to share, but please check out Robin’s website to see her amazing work.

This past week Kelly and I met again, this time to attend a local women’s networking event called “Cherry Pie”.


This event gives local women a chance to meet and learn about local women-run businesses.  It also gave us a chance to pass out business cards and meet another decorator or two.  And as a bonus, some of the businesses involved food that Kelly and I enjoyed sampling – the chocolate cupcakes were yum-yum-yummy!!!


And last but not least, my dining room table project --- Black Bean Soup from Benjamin Moore was the colour choice and the final coat was applied on Sunday.  The varnish will be applied tomorrow night and I’ll post pictures later this week.  Just in time for Thanksgiving dinner :)!

Ahhh…guilt-free for another day or so!

September 11, 2009

A few moments in the garden…

This week for Hooked on Fridays I am Hooked on Black Eyed Susans.  Thanks Julia from Hooked on Houses for hosting!


I adore Black Eyed Susans and they’ve been in full bloom in my garden for about 3 weeks now.  I had to capture them before they are gone until next year (pout).

Enjoy…IMG_2377    IMG_2394  IMG_2390

Even in black and white they are beautiful.IMG_2401  IMG_2402

September 6, 2009

This Really IS Labour Day! (Part II)

Today, in part II of my "This really IS Labour Day!" post (see Part I), sanding, priming and colour choice...

Yesterday, as the sun was shining and leisure activities calling my name, loudly I might add, I was hunkered down in the backyard - sanding - sighhh.  For a solid three and a half hours, I had my handy-dandy-don't-leave-home-without-it Little Mouse Sander gripped firmly in my now aching hands. And this is the result:


So, as I'm sanding away, hubby pipes up and asks "What colour are you painting this??" with a rather skeptical look on his face. "Black or dark brown" was my reply, which was really narrowing it down. He had a few suggestions, but after I explained that I was going for a "sophistication" and not "country", he walked away with a shrug of the shoulders “Whatever”… such support!! :).

After this conversation, I started really pondering my colour choices. Based on the inspiration pictures in yesterdays post, I am looking for dark sophistication. My original thought was to use Benjamin Moore's "Jet Black"...

jet black bm 2120-10

Then I started thinking that pure black was a bit strong, sophisticated yes, but a strong dark colour. That got me looking at some browns, like Benjamin Moore’s “Willow” which is a gray brown …

willow bm cc-542
Or "Bittersweet Chocolate" (again Benjamin Moore)...

bittersweet chocolate bm 2114-10  Or how about “Mink” (yup – Benjamin Moore)…

mink bm 2112-10But this is getting to light – I wanted sophistication – not as dark as black, but something that was close.  Here are the two that I’m choosing between… “Carbon Copy” …

carbon copy bm 2117-10 and Black Bean Soup (both Benjamin Moore) …

black bean soup bm 2130-10 Whatever colour I choose, it will be applied to a well primed table.  That was today’s task and not without it’s hiccups.  First, it was finding the new brushes I purchased months ago (my name is Donna and I’m a procrastinator).  Finally dug them up, tucked away with the unbelievable amount of half full paint and spray cans we have (sigh … more “stuff”).  OK, now shake up the tin of primer I bought long before those brushes (do I have to say it again???).  All set – get out the gloves, open the paint, set up an array of possible brushes (one thing I’ve learned is to have several on hand as the first one you pick won’t do the job).  Now – GO! 

Now, I’ve got the tunes cranked (XM Radio - #27 The Bridge) and I’m happily painting away and hubby strolls by (are you sensing a pattern here) and says – “Hey – isn’t that an Oil based primer?”  “WHAT???” “Yep – see here – it says ALKYD.  That’s oil-based.”  “Crap!!!” (actually I think I was a little more expressive but this is a family show).  So,  not only am I a procrastinator, I’m also NOT a double-checker.  I was seriously pissed at the RONA paint guy who sold me oil based primer when he knew I was going to use latex paint!

At this point I’m committed (to the paint not the insane asylum – although hubby may have a different opinion:)!).  The reason I think this is a problem is that I was always under the impression that you don’t mix oil and latex – and I was planning on using a latex paint on the table.  So, after I finish painting, I start checking out the blogosphere for help.  (As an aside here – I absolutely love that the blogosphere exists for this exact reason – I can find people out there who have been where I am right now and find out how they fixed it.)  But back to the problem at hand… in steps “Young House Love” with this article … How to Paint Furniture … which clearly explained that the best thing to do on older furniture that may have a stained or unknown finish is to seal it with an oil based primer.  WOO HOO!  We’re back in business.  I know I could have gone with an oil based paint, but I hate the clean up and the smell.  Latex is so much easier!

So, here’s a shot of the table primed with oil based primer.  All ready for the next step which is colour (EEEEK!!!!!):


Tomorrow we will succumb to the call of the wild and are spending the day at a friends cottage – can’t be all work and no play right???  This will give the primer plenty of time to dry.  Tuesday it’s off to Benjamin Moore to pick up the new colour that will adorn our dining room.

Stay tuned…..(but when you aren’t staying tuned have a great holiday!!!)

September 5, 2009

This really IS Labour Day!!! (Part I)

So what do you do on a warm sunny rain-free long weekend?  Do you pack up and head to one of a dozen friend’s cottages? 

226517962_41edeebd87 Do you invite friends and family to enjoy an end of the season (say it ain’t so …pout…) barbeque? 


Do you pack up a lunch and head out on the sail boat? 


Nope, you knock a project off the project list … sighhhh.

For some months now I’ve been talking about my plans for my dining room table.  This is the picture that inspired me, which I posted about here, and later found belonged to Phoebe Howard the US designer.


Then the other day I found an entire post about pedestal tables by Pure Style Home and these images (all from Pure Style Home) pushed me to get a move on my dining room table …

marhtagrandlake Dining-Room-Mahogany-Table-HTOURS1106-de flickerpedestaltable

So, today I got started.  Here’s a picture of the table as it sits today. This table has been in our family for probably 35 years.  My parents purchased it used while we lived on our hobby farm where it served as the perfect farm kitchen table.  In later years it served as a dining room table in several of my parent’s houses, and for the last 10 years in my houses as kitchen and now dining room table.  See the damage on the table top?  I’ve been living like that for WAAAAAY too long.


Turned over and ready to be taken apart.  OMG is that GUM I see stuck to the bottom? sigh … kids … who are now 22 and 25!!!

IMG_2413And now in parts, ready for it’s transformation …



Stay tuned for Part II, where I’ll show what it looks like through the next steps.

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