Living a simple and laid-back life in the city!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

~ A little space for myself ~

Hello everyone! As I'm working "still" in the bathroom (I know I'm a bit lazy) and also making a nice space for the kids to work with their creations downstairs, I decided to have a space for myself too. I think I deserve it! And I have this desk/chair I got when I was visiting a friend in Calgary that needed to be painted. I got the set for $15 on sale @ Salvation Army. It was 50%off that day and my friend and I were so happy to be there without even knowing about the sales!
Here is the chair the way I found it:

And the table:
These nobs and a cup pull I found 2 months ago @ Anthropologie and they were on sale for $2.95 the nobs and the cup pull for $7.95. The fabric was another wonderful find. I got 50cm only, because I just needed to cover the seat of the chair and cost me only $0.80! It's a good match, isn't it?

Here are the results of the desk, chair and frame I had as well:

Now I have a place for myself here in the living room to check my emails, be inspired, and at the same time look outside and see the sun! Our home faces North/East and the sun shines a lot here in this room. The table with the mirror that was in this space before, I moved to the Foyer. I'll show you guys soon in another post. I also haven't decided yet if I should make a cork board with this frame or a chalk board...What do you think? I would love to hear from you!
Easter is approaching and we are here enjoying the Spring Break. The kids are really enjoying sleeping in and they are all very excited for Easter. We are going for a nice walk today to get some branches for our Easter Tree. I hope you all are having a good week and If I don't come back here until Easter, I wish you all a wonderful time with your families, friends, or even if you are by yourself, enjoy your time! We are never alone!
Happy Easter everyone!
With lots of love,
Li :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

~ A Light White/Grey Country Cabinet ~ Before & After

Dear Ladies, I've been dreaming to finish this cabinet and to show you all, you can't imagine... And finally I did it!!! Hooray!!!
When I got this piece at a Thrifty store near by, I was dreaming already to put it in this big wall we have in our living room. This one is a solid wood, which was wonderful to work with. Before I bought this cabinet, we were thinking to by an electric fireplace. But instead of spending around $500(I'm so glad we didn't), I found this piece for $80 and refinished myself. It took me a few months (it was too cold in the garage to work) and in 2 weeks, between painting the top, kids, blah, blah, blah....and one more day to paint the bottom part, I finally finished last Thursday. Sometimes I wonder if I'm too slow...some friends call me "laid back" though, but I don't rush with my life and sometimes we have other priorities.
Anyway, my love for refinishing furniture started when I was a kid. Back home, where I was born, in Brazil, we weren't lucky enough to have all Barbie's houses, clothes, furniture, not to mention accessories for them! So, my mom would helped me making the clothes for my dolls until I could do it myself and the furniture for the "pretend house", a man who worked in a farm I grew up, used to make it. I was in charge of painting the little furniture.
So now, when I get my hands on "working", my inspiration and passion come alive and very much from that time. I just love to do this.
The color I used to paint this cabinet was plain white as a base and I mixed grey to get a new color (two teasp.). It's hard to believe there is some grey in this cabinet, but comparing with plain white you can see the difference.
I didn't know if I would distress it or not, but when I did one door, I really liked it. Here is the final result:

These two chairs need a re upholstery too!

The white milky vases are all from Thrifty store ($1.99 each)and a Cuia Matte (little brown bowl with a silver straw) , where I drink "matte" or "chimarrão" with my friend, from South of Brazil.

Before I put the ring pulls,

After, with the ring pulls. They are from Lee Valley and cost $2.65 each.

It was fun to see everything coming together.

Mr. "curious" Jasper sniffing around!

That's how the cabinet was before the total makeover:

So, this piece came with no glass on the doors. Instead of glass, I chose "iron mesh" and cut them on the side of the frame.

Don't you ever underestimate the power of a new coat of paint!!! And don't be afraid of distressing the wood either. Even if you think you did to much, you can always go back, paint it again, and decide what's the best look for the furniture. This cabinet was be biggest piece of furniture I painted so far. But I had a blast when I finished!
Hope you all like it and have a wonderful beginning of the week!
Here is Spring Break for the kids, so that means, they'll be around and I'm sure we're going to have lots of fun!
See you soon,

Love, Li

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunshine Award!

Hello Ladies,
How fun is to get an award? Specially if it comes from someone who appreciates you? Well, today I got my first one! A lovely human being called Chania, from Razmataz gave it to me. I'm thrilled! And Chania also made a post a few days ago about my blog and my work. I think she really appreciates what I do! And I do appreciate what she does too, and many others. As you can see, I love to share with others what I know and help them do it themselves. So, I'll be always showing the steps through my blog.
But receiving this award was too much fun! It's a kind of recognition, right? I loved it!
I think the SPRING is here, even with lot's of snow on the ground. But who cares? We need to feel the spring in our hearts first, and then let the nature do the rest. I know it will come soon.
If you don't know Chania, please, go now and visit her blog. It's something you can't miss.
Thanks Chania for caring and appreciating my "hand made" things.

Love to all,

Antique bench ~ Before & After ~

Hello Ladies! I think I forgot to include this little Antique bench on my bedroom renovation post. I was quite lucky with this one, because I got it for free. Someone apparently didn't want this beauty anymore, (it wasn't a beauty before)and as I am a kind person who feels sorry for things left alone outside, I got it to give a new life to this poor little bench. I had to take 3 layers of fabric and I was quite discussed with I was seeing. I do have pictures, but I don't think it's necessary... But even with all the dust and dirties ( I wore a mask to protect myself!) I saw a potential with this one. So here is the result and the process of making it look nicer:

I bought this linen fabric, a more of a country style on a huge sale at the store. I paid only $1.25m. So, I still have some left for a future project. First I ironed the linen to to not have any wrinkles.

Then I cut the fabric + quilt batting. The fabric has to be a few cm bigger then the quilt batting. So when you fold it, you have extra material to hold all in place. I believe I left between 5 to 7 cm.
Place the bench seat upside down on top of the batting then fabric.
Then you will need a staple gun to fold both fabrics and staple everything together all around the bench.
I used 2 layers of the quilt batting to make the seat softer.
Then you start stapling, all around...
And in the corners, do the center first,
then fold one side first, staple. And then the other side, just like this.
Ready! The seat cushion for the Antique stool is ready to use it!
I sprayed white paint, 2 coats, let it dry, and lightly distressed the frame of the bench.
That's it Ladies, one more thing done.
Another piece for our bedroom
I hope you like it and until my next project!
I off now to help the kids with homework.
Have a lovely day,
Li :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Renovation 101 ~ Master Bedroom~

Dear Ladies, I'm about to show you the first Reno done here in our home. Still more to come, but this was the first project we finished so far (completely!). We are doing in a very little budget, which means I won't be able to change the counter top in the kitchen, sink, etc. But the reason for doing this, is to have a house with a good feeling (better that it is!). A Cottage in the city! We are very well located here, close to schools, library, shopping mall, hospital, etc, but at the same time we are in a "private" place, in a Cull D' Sac, or Crescent?
All of ours friends, literally got lost when they first came here to visit us. We call this place "Our Private Island". I hope the reno will look nice for the potential buyer! But so far, we are enjoying our home so much that this feeling is going to continue for the next one!
OK, let's make this short. The first place that it is "completely" finished is our bedroom. I know already saw it, but I made refinished a cute antique stool and would like to show you the before and after and also the whole view of the bedroom. Let's get started:
The only 2 things I got instead of "me" doing it, was the bed and the Armoire. I've always wanted to have one and all I could find was way to much for my budget. Finally I met got one with a very good price! I'll make a post just about this amazing lady I met that bought the Armoire from.
The side tables I refinished myself. I got both from guy who got them from a Antique Store somewhere in Ontario. He even showed me the receipt!
When Nick and I decided to keep moving with our plans, the tables of course, needed a makeover too. So I painted them white and distressed.
The floor....ah, the floor. We changed to light wood (Nick is Finish!) and is all recycled material (we call a green bedroom).
It used to be a carpet, pink, with green walls.
It was too overwhelming for us! We both love light colors and like me, he loves white! Unfortunately we lost the pictures from the renovation. it was so much fun!!!!
The paneling is wall paper and we did at the same time we did the floor, 2 1/2 years ago. So we chose light blue to half of the walls, just to have a bit of contrast in our bedroom.
The frames I bought them all at a Thrifty Store near by. The little ones as $0.99 and the bigger $2.99. I love to shop at Thrifty's stores!
I think that's pretty much it! The Chair, side tables, walls (1/2), frames, pillows, they were done by me, and the floor and 1/2 of the wall by hubby Nick. The duvet cover and sham is from IKEA. I got them on sale as well.
It really feels good when you accomplish something. And the good thing about DIY is of course, the savings you make, and also the MEMORIES you create! They are priceless!!!
This room can show me we can have a nice place without spending to much. I'm really enjoying doing things like that and I don't think I'll buy anything else without first thinking if I can do it myself! I would love to say thanks to a lovely CELESTE, from COTTAGE DREAMERS. Last week she made a post about a ruffle pillow, where she got inspired by mine. The result was fabulous and it was so sweet of her to mention my name and my blog to others. Thanks Celeste! You should go and check her blog, if you haven't done so, where she is doing an amazing jog in her Cottage!
Today we had snow again and it's a bit cold outside. I don't have fun painting when it's cold. Our furnace in the garage is broken and to fix it is way too much. So, I'll wait for tomorrow, when they are promising it's going to get better!
I hope I'll see you guys soon...
Have a lovely day Ladies!
Love, Li :-)

Thanks for visiting and I hope you guys like it!
Li :-)