Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Summer in England, Ireland and Wales


We were so fortunate this summer to spend a whole month in England, Ireland and Wales. I took loads of photos and thought that I would dedicate some of my blog posts to telling you about some of the things we did and the lovely places that we visited. It will almost be like experiencing it all over again!  So I hope that you enjoy the upcoming posts as much as I will enjoy sharing them with you.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Trellis Facelift - a creative project

These look like wrought-iron trellises but actually they are metal decorative panels that I painted. A friend spied the two panels in her neighbours trash and rescued them for me, knowing that I might like to do something with them. 

They were a yellow creamy colour before the transformation.

They were discoloured and had rusted in several places. 

I used a matte charcoal coloured paint that I had left over from another project and painted them completely. Using a small brush like the one in the photo and an even smaller brush to get into all the tricky little places, it was a slightly tedious process, but worth the effort.

I left them to dry leaning against a tree and then placed them in the garden in a spot where the panels create a view looking through them. I may eventually use them as a trellis to support a flowing vine of some kind.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Driftwood Votive - a creative project

Ever since a friend of mine described a serene sea-themed bedroom project that she was planning, I have had in mind the idea to make a driftwood votive for her newly painted dresser. The first step was to buy a glass container (mine came from a thrift shop), then to find driftwood pieces with similar diameters down by the beach.

After giving them a good washing and time to dry completely, I selected the ones I wanted to use and cut them to length.  I had decided that I wanted some of the glass to show at the top.

Using a rubber band to keep the sticks in place, I placed the sticks around the outside of the jar, choosing each one to fit well next to the other. Once all were in place I carefully applied a small amount of glue between each stick, at the points where one stick touched the other. Don't worry about too much glue, you can use a toothpick to smooth away the excess glue. Choose a glue that is suitable for wood and that dries clear. I used two bands during the gluing process and kept the rubber bands in place until the glue was completely dry.

Once dry, I removed the rubber bands and carefully lifted the glass out of the driftwood ring.  I then cut a ribbon and glued it to the driftwood on the inside of the circle.  It is better to glue a ribbon towards the top of the sticks and another at the bottom.  This will reinforce the ring, should some of the glue between the sticks come apart.

Once the ribbons are securely glued to the sticks, gently place the glass jar inside the ring. The driftwood votive is now ready for a candle.

You can also use the driftwood votive as a vase, or as a container for any other number of things!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Chalk Paint, easy project or not?

A friend of mine has been working on a wonderful project lately, painting her bedroom furniture with chalk paint. I had been curious about this magical paint for some time, so it was with great delight that I took her up on her offer to try the paint for a project of my own. 

I thought that an old white shelf with a set of hooks, which had been a thrift-shop find and had been languishing in a cupboard for a few years, would be a perfect small project for my first foray into chalk paint.

The marvelous thing about chalk paint is that you do not have to prepare the surface of whatever you are painting in any way. So after a coat of duck egg blue paint it was time to let the piece dry, which takes less than half an hour. 

 Once the paint is dry, you brush on a coating of clear wax, then buff it lightly with a clean rag or some paper towels. If you want a nice clean finish then there is no need to go further, your piece is done. If, however, you want to age the piece a little, you brush on some dark brown wax, then wipe it off a little until you achieve the desired result.

Once you have added the brown wax to all the places you want it, you finish with another coat of clear wax.  Then you buff the entire surface until the finish has a nice sheen. For this step I placed a shoe polish brush into an old sock to use for the buffing. It was fast and efficient.

And that is all there is to it.  There are other techniques to create a distressed look, and you can find loads of helpful instructions online.All that was left was to choose some photos to pop in and hang it up.  A very easy way to obtain very satisfactory  and quick results.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Little White Jug #3

My hydrangea is blooming and how could I resist cutting some for my latest little white jug flower arrangement? These beautiful blue hydrangea had turned pink in my garden but I had read that if you save your old used tea leaves and scatter them on the ground around the plant, it will turn the soil acidic causing the colour to change from pink to blue.

So last summer,  I faithfully saved all my old tea bags by the kitchen sink in a small stainless steel bowl, scattering them around the base of the plant whenever the bowl was full.

And wonder of wonder it worked.  Some of the pink is now lavender coloured, but other blooms are blue.

So many beautiful shades!

Turn the jug around, and every view is gorgeous with a wide range of soft pretty colours. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Crossroads Tearoom, Perth, Ontario

We stopped in yesterday at Crossroads Tearoom in Perth for a light lunch.  And of course I had to try their scones for dessert, as you can see for yourself. The place was hopping at 12:30 but we only had a short wait before a table freed up for us. By the time we had finished our lunch, the place had emptied out so I was able to take some photos without disturbing other visitors. 

But while we waited for our table, I was able to have a good look around and peruse the menu.

At the front counter there was a selection of baked goods in large glass jars.

Marie Antoinette was there to preside over the proceedings, and my oh my, she made no secret of what she had up her skirt.

Just over her shoulder were an assortment of tables and chairs, set for two, four or six. It is definitely a sort of mix and match kind of place which is perfectly charming and suited to a Victorian tearoom.

There are plenty of details to take in and appreciate.

The place is very cozy despite, or perhaps because of,  its jumble of collectibles.

A lovely corner for two over here...

And seating among what looks like a series of what might have once been fitting rooms. 

There are all sorts of vignettes to look at while you dine.

Including these divine hats, which do I prefer... the pink or the blue?

Never mind, it's the food that we came for and everything was very good, and clearly homemade. I will definitely be going back, especially now that I know that sticky toffee pudding is on offer!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Art in the Garden 2015

Art in the Garden, held just outside Perth, had a lovely selection of art this year. I was fortunate to visit on the Saturday and the weather was glorious, sunny with cooling breezes. Just what you need for strolling through the extensive grounds of Kiwi Gardens. Lots of interesting garden art on display, but without a doubt, the whimsical creations by Ottawa artist, Liz Cielsluk were the ones that captured my imagination and drew my interest the most.

Like this little fellow, who seems to be cobbled together with all manner of things, a sort of steampunk hummingbird-frog. Definitely a creature of fancy.

As would be expected in this topsy-turvy world, Alice was in attendance, along with her flamingos.

As was this woodland wizard who blended very nicely into his surroundings.

It seems that several characters had come to the sale using their own modes of transportation.

This handsome fellow was the most beautiful shade of blue. Very regal indeed.

And this cross between a bird and butterfly definitely has magpie tendencies, as his collection of glittery objects shows. 

But there were many other artists at the sale, with wonderful works of art that would blend very nicely into garden landscapes, including these interesting trellises which would divide a garden into different areas very nicely.

I look forward to visiting again next year!