Saturday’s Success!

I’m going to get to into the meat of this particular post, but I’d first like to notify you that I’m thinking about moving to a five day a week posting schedule for the summer.  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday are looking like they might be the winning days, but I’m not sure yet.  If you have any input, please feel free to post a comment! I’d love to know what you feel about this.


Before I even poured my coffee, I had the first coat of paint on the inside of the night table for the guest room.  Those of you who know me in real life will understand how desperate I am to get this room done!  Working on it sans coffee!  Wow.

While I waited for the first coat to dry, I scooted to the kitchen, poured my coffee, took my first sip, fed the cat and then boogied outside to water my garden.  I’ve been neglectful of it, and I’m afraid it shows.  My poppies, which were showing so very much potential, seem to have all disappeared.  I’ll know better next time!

Then it was down to the basement to work on some of the other projects.  Like painting these plastic overlay pieces.  These started out life as square overlays from Dollarama.  I trimmed them down and cut them into quarters on the diagonal.

And sew the hem to the box-pleated bed skirt.

All of this while doing laundry, watching movies and chatting with the Ogre.  Multi-tasking at it’s finest!

With the overlays dry and the last stitch done on the hem, it was time to take all of my toys upstairs and really get to work!

It was also time for another cup of coffee!  ‘Cause our house runs on love and strong cups of coffee.  For real!

Coffee in hand,  I went back upstairs and added DIY bed risers to the frame for the double bed.  They are nothing more than 2″ X 2″  X 6″ with a large screw set into the center to join to the foot of the frame.

I moved on to covering the headboard I had built out of leftovers.  There are lots of tutorials out there on how to do this, so I won’t bother to show you the fifty-zillion staples right now.

Once the headboard was completed, I attached it to the bed frame and set up the box spring.

Next up was my possibly most disliked household chore!  I broke out my iron and spent far too much time running it over the bed skirt.  Am I the only one who detests ironing?  I know it’s needful, but really…

The room’s really starting to come together!  There’s a lot to still be completed, but these are smaller projects.  It’s so nice to have the big things done!

I hope you’re having a great weekend and being as productive (or not!) as you want to be!

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.


Thrift Store Find – With Ombre!

Last week, I went hunting for a basket for the guest room.  I wanted something that could be carried, so I could fill it with toiletries and our guests could carry it to the bath and back without having to juggle things.

I found this for $2.99.  A little worse for the wear, but the perfect shape and size!

A few coats of Stone White later…

It was OK, but I wasn’t loving it.

Then I remembered all of the ombre paint I had mixed up for the Keep Calm sign!

Darkest color.

Second color…

Third color…


Closeup of the ombre…

Now, I’m loving it!  I think it needs something on the handle.  And, of course, toiletries!  But it will do what I wanted it to, and it’s kind of cute!


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.

Indespensable Colors…

Years ago, I watched Lynette Jennings with religious fervour.  She retired from the home decor scene in 2002, and now concentrates on painting beautiful pieces on canvas.

I remember her stating that a room wasn’t complete without a touch of black.  Black grounds the room and adds an element of sophistication, no matter how casual the space.

I agreed with her.  Vehemently, in fact!  However, as I’ve aged and become more comfortable with my own tastes, I’ve come to a realization.

Lynette was only half right.  (gasp!)

In my home, a room is not complete without a touch of black AND a bit of red.  Somehow, that hit of red, no matter how small, just makes a room pop for me.  It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling, and tells me that the room is complete.

Here.  This is what I mean…

Red candlesticks with black upper, black pots for faux topiary, red matting in frame and art above photo.

Red in hummingbird on black lamp base.

Keeping that in mind, I HAVE to have something red in the guest room.  The “Keep Calm” piece fits the bill nicely!

There will be other touches, of course, but this is the big one.

But I’m stumped at what to bring in for the black.  Hmmmm…..

Any ideas?  What are your indespensable colors?  The colors that finish your rooms?  Have a look around.  I’m sure you’ll see a pattern there!

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.

Guest Room Update

Before I get into the tutorials, I have to share something wonderful! My “Keep Calm…” art was featured at the All Stars Block Party! How amazingly cool is that???

Simply Done Wright

OK. Now that I’ve shared that, it’s time to move on!

I’ve been working furiously on getting the guest room done before my Mom comes on June 22nd.  While I know she doesn’t care WHAT the room looks like, it’s in my heart to make it the most comfortable, welcoming room I can for her.

The room started off like this…

Excuse the quality of the photos.  I’m not quite sure what happened there!

That’s a bright blue paired with a paler view on oposing walls.  The previous tenants had used this room as a playroom for their three children, and had built in a fair amount of shelving, as the spackle spots would indicate.

I filled all the holes, then used two coats of primer to get all of the surfaces back to white.  From there, I use Benjamin Moore’s Light Yellow on the walls and Stone white on the trim.  It makes a nice, sunny space that feels like summer.

I’m currently painting the furniture that will live in this room and working on the bed skirt and headboard. Once I’m done with those, there’s a cushion and a few pillows that will need to be made out of the lovely blue and white brocade my friend Roxane gifted me.

I was lucky enough to find the PERFECT chair for this room on the curb.  I’ve finished painting it, and it’s now waiting for a seat cushion.  This is what it looked like when it came home with me.

I have finished up a few pieces of artwork for this room.  I’ve posted about the “Keep Calm…” piece here, but I haven’t shown you the second piece I made for the room.  This one ties in all of the room’s main colors- the yellow, white and blue.

There’s more, of course, but that would take away from the final reveal!  (And we don’t want that, do we?)

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.

Workin’ it on the weekend!

On Friday, I had the opportunity to leave work at 2pm instead of my normal 4:30.  Summer work hours are great!

I was able to get home at 2:07pm (I live REALLY close to work!).  I chose to spend the time between getting home and the time I normally get home with the Ogre.

I worked on a few small projects – the kind I can do at my computer desk/craft station.  I started with putting a few coats of paint on a maple leaf shaped cutting board I purchased at the Salvation Army.  Once it’s complete, it will hang on my front door for the remainder of June, heralding Canada Day!

Then, I moved on to using power tools.  Well, I used my drill – and that counts in my world!  I had previously purchased a 2 X 2″ board from Home Depot and had them cut 6″ lengths for me.  I marked the center of the pieces and drilled a pilot hole in the center of each.  Then I inserted a metal “dowel-type” connector I salvaged from some mdf furniture pieces I salvaged for the “wood”.  A drop or two of Gorilla glue and a few hammer strikes later, the connectors are jutting out from the edge of the wood piece.

These pieces are meant to be bed risers for the metal frame of the double bed in the guest room.  They’ll be inserted where the wheels that came with the frame originally attached.  This way, the bed won’t move AND will be higher – which is a plus for those of our guests who find it more “challenging” to get up from a lower position.

I primed the wood and gave it two nice coats of Benjamin Moore’s Stone White.  Then I glued some bright orange craft foam to the bottom of the pieces.  This will protect the floor from incidental scratching from the wood.

The orange wass NOT a statement.  It was just what I happened to have in my craft drawer, so I painted it.

The Ogre ran upstairs to make us a yummy dinner and I just started to put my toys away when I had a paint disaster!  A half full (or better) gallon of Benjamin Moore made a run for freedom!  Even though I lunged to grab it, I missed it by “this much” and it flew to the floor.  On the way down, it bounced of my computer chair – which served to knock the lid off!

It made a really pretty puddle on the floor, but I was too panicked and determined to save what I could to take a photo.

I grabbed an old plastic container and a “chippy” brush and pushed as much of the paint into the container as I could.  Each time it got full, I dumped it into the paint can.  I managed to salvage about 2/3 of what hit the floor – which I thought was terrific!

Then, it was time to clean up for dinner!  THAT took a fair amount of time!  Somehow, I had paint EVERYWHERE on myself!

Dinner accomplished, I scooted upstairs and gave the guest room what I most certainly hope is the last coat of paint.  The weather has been very humid, and it’s been a challenge to get clean coats on.  Of course, as soon as I finished it, the sky clouded over… so I wasn’t going to be able to tape it off to paint the trim tonight.

I closed up the can (firmly), wrapped my roller and brush well, left the window and door open and moved back to the basement for the remainder of the evening.

After all, I still had LOTS of projects I could do there!

Like planning what to do to with this beauty I found on the curb Friday morning!

And sewing the box-pleated bed skirt…

To prove you can make fabric things without a sewing machine if you choose…

Backstitched seam with button hole stitch binding the edges

All in all, not a bad start to the weekend!

What are your plans?  Projects?  I’d love to know.

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.

Tutorial Tuesday – Painter’s Tape Stencil

This is not the stencil for you if you’re looking for a single use stencil!  It’s rather time consuming, and is best saved for motifs you plan on using multiple times.  The benefits to this stencil is that it uses material that most DIY’ers have on hand, and it can be formed around awkward shapes without too much difficulty.  Once completed, it can be safely stored by lining the sticky side with wax paper and rolling up into a tube.  It’s reasonably cost effective, as well.  It can also be made to whatever size required – as long as you have space to work on it, that is!

Step One – The Foundation.

Begin by measuring out the size you’ll need your finished stencil to be.  Do this on a flat surface – a cutting board, craft table or, if you need much, much larger, the floor or wall.

Once you know the size you’ll be working with, start placing your tape.  Once the first strip is down, you’ll be layering the subsequent pieces of tape over top by about 1/4 to 1/3 of the width of the strip.

Continue doing this until the entire area is covered with tape.

Step Two – The Layers

When you have the first layer firmly in place, it’s time to work on layer two.  This layer will be placed ACCROSS the first layer at a 90 degree angle.  Again, you’ll be laying each piece of tape over top of the prior piece by about 1/4 of the width.

After layer two is done, layer three is applied.  This time, you’ll be working on a diagonal (corner to corner) until the base is fully covered.

Layer four is a repeat of layer three – with the opposite diagonal being used.

This is actually a shot of layer 3 with the direction for layer 4 indicated

Step Three – Finishing the Base

At this point, you have four layers of tape, all firmly stuck together.  It’s OK to stop here if you don’t plan on re-using the stencil very much.  However, since I NEVER know if I’m going to want to use the stencil again, I tend to repeat the first and second layers to give me an even sturdier piece.  I’ve even been known to throw a layer of duct tape on top, just for fun!

I straightened the edges to give myself a neater finish, and it’s off to the next step.

Step Four – Placing the Design

Now it’s time to actually draw your design.  There are a couple of ways to do this.  If you are an artist, you could freehand.  (Of course, I’d have to hate you if you did!)

I print out the image I want to use and copy it to the size I need.  In this case, it’s the “Keep Calm and Sleep In” motif I wanted for the guest room.

I printed the images in reverse so that I could simply stick the back side of the paper to the sticky side of the tape.

Now, I peeled off the multi-layered base and placed it sticky side up.  I centered the motif and pressed it firmly down into the painter’s tape.  The alternative method to this is to START with the motif and apply painter’s tape to the back.  I find it more difficult as the paper seems to sometimes have a mind of it’s own, and I end up taping the table anyway!

You think I’m nuts right about now, because you just covered the sticky part of your stencil, don’t you?  Bear with me, OK?  It actually makes sense as we go along and get to the end.

Step Five – Cutting the Stencil

With your image either drawn or attached, it’s time to break out your exacto knife and cut.  If you’re working on the floor, wall or a table that you don’t want damaged, you’ll have to lift the portion of the stencil you’re working on and slide a cutting surface beneath it to protect your surface.  Cut the stencil out to the dimension of the board, then peel the tape layers back and move the board accordingly.  The painter’s tape will allow you to reposition easily.

While you’re cutting, don’t forget to leave bridges where required to keep the centers intact.

Step Six – Removing the Lower Level of Tape (if and when required)

Yup.  You read that right.  After going through ALL of that trouble to put the first layer down, I’m telling you to rip it up.  It’s not as intimidating as it sounds… honest!  Simply lift an edge of your paper away from the stencil base.  If you’re very lucky, the paper will release from the tape with no difficulty.  If, however, the first layer of tape wants to come with the paper, it’s OK.  There are at least three MORE layers of tape holding your stencil together.  (More if you’re me.)

This step is also what I do if the tape loses it’s stick.  For stencils I’ve had to use dozens of times, I just add another layer of tape to the top side and recut.  That keeps the stencil solid and stable.  I try to never have the stencil LESS than 4 layers thick.

Here’s a shot of my stencil with a layer of duct tape over top.

Step Seven – Marking For Placement

Now that the stencil is all cut out, it’s wise to take the time and mark some straight lines on the non-sticky side.  For this project, I marked top, bottom, sides, and centers.  This helps with placement on your project.  (Unfortunately, I got too eager, and didn’t take photos of this step.)

Congratulations!  Your stencil is now ready to use.  Break out the paint!  Because the bottom layer of the stencil is painter’s tape, the stencil will pretty much stay where you put it and mold itself around curves and angles very nicely.  There’s less chance of paint bleeding under the tape as well.

When you’re done of the job, it’s time to put the stencil away.  Lay it out with the sticky side up and get your plastic cling wrap.  Cover the sticky with the wrap, overlapping where required.

Now you can roll it up for storage or store it flat.  I wouldn’t recommend folding it, though.  That distorts the piece too much.

With this particular stencil, I took a sheet of copy paper and labeled it  with the design.  Then I wrapped the paper around my rolled stencil.

When it’s time to use it again, the cling wrap will peel off easily and you’re ready to start again!

As I said at the top of this post, this IS a time consuming method.  Acetate and spray adhesive is much quicker.  But the benefits of this one outweigh the time for me.  Maybe they will for you!


There have been times I didn’t have painter’s tape, but had a supply of masking tape.  Despite the fact that masking tape is stickier, it can be used as well.  Before applying it to a wall or finished surface, though, I stuck it to a length of cotton fabric.  The fabric “ate” some of the adhesive, leaving just enough to use the stencil without worrying about damaging the walls.  I’ve also used masking tape for the 5th layer and above when I had more on hand than painter’s tape.

I’ve also used wax paper to cover the sticky side, but I personally prefer the cling wrap for “removability”.

 I’m sharing here

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.

My Mommy’s Coming to Visit!

In three short weeks, my Mom will be here for a 10 day visit.  This may not seem momentous to anyone but my sister and I.  But Mom lives on PEI, and my sister Carolyn and I live here in Ottawa, ON.

We do speak by phone, but visits are few and far between.  We either have the time to visit OR the money to do so.  Sometimes, though, the stars align and it all falls into place!

This time, it’s due to my youngest sister.  She’s a military wife and her husband is away for a few weeks at the end of June.  She’s packing up her little girls, popping them and my Mom into her car and heading out to spend time with her in-laws in Montreal.  Fortunately, Montreal is only a short trip from here!  I’ll go and pick up Mom, visit with my sister and the littles (and her lovely in-laws!) for the day, then drive quickly away with my Mom stashed in my truck!  [About 10 days later, I’ll reverse the process and I won’t be nearly as excited then 😦 ]


I’m so thankful that I’ve managed to get the living room (except for trim at the ceiling) done.  The first floor is definitely Mom-ready.

The second floor, however, not so very much at all, at all!

I’ve got to get an actual guest room completed.  Not that Mom would mind, I know.  She’s coming to see my sister and I, not my house.  But she’s done so very much for me and loved me through my absolute worst times that I want to have a pretty, restful haven for her here.  After all, she’s “ditching” Dad for the duration and is going to need some benefits tossed her way!

Here’s what the room looked like when I thought to take a few photos.  I’m not quite sure WHAT I did wrong with my camera, so I’m going to ask you to forgive the poor quality.

Last weekend was a rainy weekend, which always throws me off my game.  However, I did manage to finish the “Stay Calm and Sleep In” artwork on Saturday and get the second (and third) coat of spackle on the areas that needed it.  I also moved the mattress and box spring into the storage bedroom (which will one day be my craft room/studio space!)

Sunday was designated as sanding, priming and painting day.  I wet sand spackle, just to cut down on the amount of dust in tee air, and that goes fairly quickly.  Then, I taped off the floor.  I didn’t bother taping off the ceiling as the primer really doesn’t show against the ceiling paint.  It does mean I have to be very careful cutting in when I’m using color, but I find that easier than trying to tape off popcorn ceilings!

With the tape in place, I primed.  This room, like all of the other painted rooms in this house, had been done in two colors.  There were two very pale blue walls and two bright pastel blue walls.  Two coats of primer covered enough that I could move on.

With the walls primed, I quit for the day and moved on to a hot, hot bath.  It’s amazing how much paint I can get on myself!

There’s still a lot to be done!  The yellow paint for the walls, the white on the trim will be done during the week, I hope!  I’ve got a dresser and night table to paint, lamps to re-do, an upholstered headboard and pleated bedskirt to finish, curtains and a blind to hang… and the list continues.

But it’s for my Mom.  And she is soooooo very worth every bit of it!

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.