Decorating for the Season

This post is very photo laden.  You have been warned.

Today, I realized that I’ve been working so very hard on getting my pedestal table stripped and stained, that I had been neglecting the Christmas decorating!  Yes, I did have the Advent Wreath complete, and the hallway partially decorated, but I’ve been really slack on everything else!

So, here is my entry hallway, decorated for Christmas.  This is what it would look like if someone ran ahead of me and lit the candles before I opened the front door.

HallwaySanta’s writing out his “naughty/nice” list.  I’m choosing to believe I’m on the nice side of the page!

Here’s a look at what’s on that shelf…  Santa may welcome me home, but the Nativity prints certainly remind me what it’s really all about.

Nativity1This little hummingbird was a Christmas present from one of my work associates.  The gold stars were a gift from an elderly neighbour a few years ago.  Together with the icicles and a mixture of real cedar branches and a faux garland, the space fills up nicely!  4 votives in sherry glasses and two in the wall hung candle holders gives a very nice glow.HummingbirdThe wreath was made from cardstock.  “Joy” was printed at home on photo paper (as was Santa’s “Believe”)  The carollers and shoppers are from Canadian Tire and fit nicely into the jars that once held Dollarama Candles.  The red bottom of the jars are two Dollarama candle holders, spray painted red.joynativity2

Except for the “Baby, it’s cold outside” print on the back of the front door, that just about does it.  Next time, the living room.

There’s still the garland above the patio doors to decorate, the creche to put up, the tree to trim, stockings to make and the table and appropriate dishware to put out, but it really feels like Christmas here now.

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Ta-Dah!!! First floor hallway reveal…

Remember what it looked like before?  Yeah.  Not so great.  (If you don’t remember, go here for a bit of perspective, OK?)

Well, I filled holes.  I sanded walls.  I primed – twice (and 3 times in some spots).  I painted – thrice!  I installed wall anchors, mounted a shelf, hung art and staged a display.  I even took a vacation day from work to get it all finished.

The Ogre thinks it looks amazing.  To be honest, so do I.  The only thing not changed is the silly brown runner on the floor – but it’s on the list.

Enough words. Let’s look at some pictures!

Welcome to my home.  When you first open the front door, please look to the left.  Here is my mudroom closet.  Have a seat on the comfy bench and kick off your shoes.  No, don’t worry about putting them away, there’s room here for them to just be.

If you have a look up, while you’re removing your shoes, this is what you’ll see.

That white railing looks so much better than the black with gold, doesn’t it?  Much brighter and warmer, I think.

Here’s a better shot of the poppy artwork on the wall.  The colors in it were perfect for this spot, and it’s such a welcoming sight when I open the front door in the evening.

The plate you see in profile came from the Ogre’s Poppa Norm’s house.  I never met Norm, but the two plates we got to take do remind the Ogre of being a little guy in a country kitchen watching his Poppa cook.  (Norm was a phenom in the kitchen.)  Here’s a front view…

One of these beauties hangs above the full length mirror mounted beside the closet, while the other lives above the doorway to the kitchen.  They’re on opposite walls and bring the colors of the room down the hall.

Looking up, you’ll see the standard builder’s globe light in the hall.  I didn’t want to spend the $$$ to change it out, so I made a paper towel/toilet paper roll medallion to bling it up a bit.  This is what it looks like with the light on.  Much more finished and interesting, I think.

Moving down the hall slightly, you’ll see the shelf I made from pine boards reclaimed from a futon frame.

To help light bounce down the hall, I glued Dollarama square mirror tiles to the base of the shelf.  It’s just a little touch of bling, but it’s fun!

The accessories on the shelf are mostly DIY.  The “T” was made after seeing Allison from House of Hepworth’s cardboard monogram.  The burgundy/red with black candleholders are repainted wedding gifts (from 24+ years ago!) and the topiaries are Dollarama rope globes, dowels and terra cotta pots.  (The 3M mounting tape didn’t stay there after I took the picture!)

Because my cat has a nasty habit of eating plants, I repurposed these candle wall sconces by painting them and using them to hold 2″ pots.  The hallway gets diffused light during the day, so I’m hoping these little guys will survive for a while.

I made the little bead tree before we moved here.  It was a first attempt, and the crystal beads are supposed to represent winter.  I’m hoping to do seasonal sets, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

Normally, I prefer an asymmetrical display, but it didn’t work out for this shelf.  So, symmetry it is!

The Cuba print is from an old calendar, but the image was originally a Pan-Am advertisement.  I really love the colors and flow.  The piece hanging above it is, again, paper towel art.

And this is what I see when I come up the stairs from our basement living room/office/crafting space area.

None of the above photos are really true to the colors, so I’ll throw in this one.  THIS is what you see if you stand in our horrid, messy, completely disorganized and utterly depressing living room.

The Ogre is right.  It IS kinda awesome.  And I’m very happy with it.

Next up, the living room!


Edited to add image with truer color…

Truer color

It’s a happy place to walk through.  My first ever yellow room!

This room also reflects the impact that three of my friends have had on me.  The plants remind me of Roxane, the poster of Laura, and the colors of Vera.  It’s almost like my besties welcome me home!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

No reveal today…

The paint is on the walls and trim, and mostly off the floor where it spattered, but I’m no-where near done.  I’ve run out of weekend, I’m afraid!

There’s still the shelf to mount, and all of the actual decorating to do.  I’ll putter during the rest of the week, but I don’t know that I’ll have anything to show before next Saturday.

So, instead of a full reveal, here’s a bit of a teaser!


I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Don’t be afraid… it’s just a little paint!

With the technology mostly restored, I can get on with other things.  Here’s a bit of an explanation about how I have to do things for now.

Monday, Thursday and Friday, I have enough time to do 3-4 hour projects.   Tuesday and Wednesday are  spent on dance related things and, occasionally, photo editing or blog planning… for both the DIY and dance blogs.  The weekends, unless marred by disaster of some sort (such as technology failure!) are for the bigger things.

This weekend was a tad messed up.  But I did manage to get a few “weekday”-like things done.  Here’s a few shots of what I ended up finishing!

First, the before…



I found this large-ish print at the Salvation Army a while back.  The center of the mat is 11′ X 17″ – exactly what I needed to frame a calendar print I’ve been hoarding for about 5 years!

The frame, glass and mat were in great condition… but the wrong colors for what I had in mind.  That’s a VERY easy fix!

I sanded and I primed…

Sanded and primed

I gave it four coats of regular, old fashioned Oops paint and painted the mat with the same burgundy I’ve used for the candlesticks and wall sconces that will be displayed in the same area.

Painted frame and mat

I left the center portion of the mat the original pinky-white and used a black Sharpie to separate the white from the burgundy section.

Finally, I mounted the calendar print.  It’s from a calendar the Ogre and I got at Costco in 2005.  Each “page” was a double sided copy of Pan Am’s 1940’s travel advertisements.  The lush colors of this one really speak to me.  So much, that I’ve planned a complete display around it.

I haven’t been able to take very good photos of the finished result, but the real thing makes me smile every time I see it.  That, and think of my friend Laura who just came back from Cuba.  I can imagine her dancing to the music, too!

I was able to find a better image of this poster at  This is MUCH closer to the richness of color than I can capture!  Check them out if you’re interested in vintage travel posters.  Their selection is wonderful!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Plans for the entry hallway

As soon as the mudroom was completed (for the time being, at least!), I started planning the first floor entry and hallway.  The painter finished painting the first floor stair and upstairs hall, and the electrician came in to install several light fixtures and sockets and the Ogre was pretty “project’d out”, so I just daydreamed…

This is what I’m starting with…

This hall connects with every space on the first floor and has the Kitchen, Stairway Up, Stairway Down, Living/Dining and Mudroom in direct line of sight.  It has to be a functional pass-through (uncluttered and neat), but also needs to flow nicely from the blue in the mudroom, the Stone White in the Stairway Up and the Louisburg Green planned for the Living/Dining room.  And I don’t want it to be boring.

That’s a lot to expect from a fairly small space, isn’t it?  But I’m confident the hall can handle it!

It just occured to me that I’m decorating in a clockwise fashion.  Mudroom (not in photo), Stairway Up (painted by our terrific painter, Ian), then Living/Dining and on to the Kitchen.  Hmmm.  I’m sure there’s a meaning in there somewhere!

Moving on….

As previously planned, the walls will be painted Benjamin Moore’s Light Yellow, with Stone White for the trim.  The yellow plays nicely with the blue in the mudroom, and brightens up the space.  It also leads us down the hall to the to-be-green living room.  The flooring doesn’t change, although the runner on the floor is going to have a short life, hopefully!



The yellow will continue downward to the Stairway Down.  There’s no door there, so taking the color to the basement just flows nicely.

There’s a lot of mudding to be done.  The previous tenants left us with lovely holes in the wall.  Once those are corrected, I’ll have to prime to get rid of the horrid ever-so-lovely mustardy-tan.

The framework is pretty basic.  The walls will be yellow.  The trim will be white.  I’m not sure yet about the closet doors.  They desperately need a coat of paint, but I’m not sure which color it will be.  That may just be a wait and see situation!  The mirror frame will be white, however.  And I’ve made a paper roll medallion painted in Stone White to trim out the boring little ceiling fixture.  Additional texture is never a bad thing!

The long wall on the right is begging for attention.  The door bell unit is just about centered, and certainly can’t be ignored!  I think I’ve come up with something to make it less of a focal point, though.

There’s still lots of pine boards from the futon frame I dismantled before we moved.  I’ve put together a little picture shelf – 54″ long and 3 3/8″ deep painted in Stone White.

Before we actually moved in here, I had imagined a harlequin treatment inspired by Wendy and Alex’s entrance hall at Old Town Home, but living with this space has changed my mind.  There’s just too many breaks in the walls!  However, I did purchase 45 one-inch mirrors to be used at the diamond points.  I think they’ll pick up the front edge of the shelf nicely.

Once the walls are painted, I’ll be able to mount it.  And decorate it… which is the fun part!

The Ogre and I received a pair of beautiful turned wood candlesticks as a wedding gift.  Unfortunately, the last 2.5 decades haven’t exactly been gentle to them.  So, out came the DecorArt Burgundy craft paint…. and some circular black metal candle holders that just begged to be re-purposed.

Since the burgundy paint was  in my hand, the metal sconces I bought 12 years ago in Columbia, SC, got a coat or two as well.  I think the burgundy against the yellow and white will really catch the eye!

Also on the project pile is a series of calendar posters that we purchased in 2005.  They’re a series of advertising art from the 1930’s.  Unfortunately, each 11 X 17 image has a second image on it’s reverse side… and both sides are absolutely beautiful.  I’m hoping to get copies made of half of the images, leaving me with 8 originals and 8 copies.  My absolute favorites will get mounted or framed for the photo/display shelf and the remainder can be used on the Stairway Up.  That will create additional continuity.

54″ is a lot of real estate to decorate with tchotkes, and 3 3/8″ is not a great amount of depth to work with .   At this point, I can “see” the wall candle sconces, the candle holders and the advertising art.  Faux or real plants would also work here, I think.  They’d have to be something that really enjoys shade, though.  The amount of actual light they’d get would be very little.

The fabric I scored two weeks ago ($3.25!) was purchased with a plan in mind to make a panel curtain for the doorway to the basement.  We spend most of our time down there, and the noise from three computers and an air purifier travels REALLY well!  As does paint fumes, sawdust, etc…  A nice little curtain will help prevent some of that, but still let the four foot have access to every place her humans go.

The plan for the curtain involves the blue paint from the mudroom, the yellow, green, white and burgundy and some fabric medium.  The brocade should paint up fairly well, I think – and it’ll just be “paint by numbers” as the pattern is right there in the weave.

And here is where I draw a blank.  I think the basic plan is sound, but I’m not “seeing” it fleshed out.  I suppose the area will grow into itself in time, but I’m not the most patient of women!

It’s nice to have a plan, though.  I really do work better with one, I think.  And I can fit the little projects in between the large, so there’s always a bit of progress!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Closet Mudroom Reveal…Part Two

The Ogre and I needed a comfy place to sit when we took off our slushy winter boots.

Storage for our hats, mitts, gloves and scarves…

A place to hang the coats we use most…

But, mostly, I just needed to FINISH something that made this rental our home…
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There’s obviously tweaking to go.  I’m not in love with the chocolate brown cushion in here, or with the throw pillows.  There’s two more hooks to add, plus the hooks for his messenger bag and my purse.  The baskets may or may not stay white.

But, it’s finished for now.  And it’s what it needs to be!  I like it.  So does the Ogre.  And that’s all that counts!

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I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Closet mudroom reveal… Part One

When we first moved in three weeks ago, we noticed that the coat closet immediately at hand to the front door had been stripped of its door and closet rod.  There wasn’t even a shelf!

Here it is the first day…

We found places for that stuff to live, and decided on a trial run of the mudroom idea…

Two weeks was more than enough to tell us that having a bench and a place to hang coats, etc, would be PERFECT for us.

So, I patched, taped and primed…

It stayed like this for 5 days while we waited for the landlord to get the Turquoise Powder paint I had been jonesing on.  However, the Benjamin Moore shop he used ran out of the base, so it got delayed.

And I got impatient.

The previous tenants had left several gallons of different paints behind.  I mixed, blended and tweaked until I came up with an Ogre approved color (he REALLY liked the turquoise, so I thought I should get his input before I moved on with something different).

Right about then, I started experiencing a fibromyalgia flare.  If you don’t know what that is, consider yourself fortunate.  If you do know, you have my sympathy and empathy.  Basically, my pain levels went through the roof… enough that I used 4 sick days in one week and stayed home from work drugged and cranky.

But I have minions.  Well, I have one with opposable thumbs, and I plied him with cookies.

So this got done.Before my flareup, I had the mdf for the shelf, the pine boards for the frame, and the coffee table primed and given multiple coats of Benjamin Moore’s Stone White.  It’s a blue/gray white that I really find fresh and crisp.

Once the second coat of blue was on and dried, the tape was removed, the trim painted Stone White and the frame for the shelf installed.  After that was done, the black wrought iron looked silly, so it got painted Stone White, too.Having run the Ogre to the end of his patience, it was time to call it quits for the day.  So he did.

I’m so thankful he’s part of my life.

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.