Thrifted Cigar Box Turned Pretty

thrifted cigar box with painted herringbone patternA while back I decided to go to Goodwill on a whim, just to see what I could find.  It turned out there were a few little treasures there – remember the embroidery hoops I used in the book page wreath?  I also found a fantastic little cigar box from Nicaragua.  It was in great condition and it cost $1.25.  How could I say no?  I didn’t take any photos of the inside, but it’s a wonderful velvety red and smells sweet and woody all at once.  If you don’t already know this about me, I am a sucker for smells.  I think I have sniffed every single vintage book I have ever bought.  Too much information?  Sorry… I just like all things old and with history, and most importantly with a story, and sometimes smells tell us a story – or they at least help us to come up with one!

Truthfully this little box could have stayed exactly the way it was, but I wanted to spice it up a bit.  I kept seeing these beautiful wooden boxes at Chapters, so I had a bigger vision for this lovely $1.25 treasure.

Here is an example of the boxes I was lusting over at Chapters but did not want to pay $34.50 for (the one I really liked had a grey and white chevron pattern, but they don’t seem to have that one anymore):

882709054986_hiNow for the pièce de résistance:

cigar box pattern

I did a rough measure, taped it all up and made sure all ends of the tape were down really well.  I thought about taping the edges to make sure they were all perfect also, but perfection is overrated, right?

cigar box DIY

I started with just the blue and put on about 4-5 coats of it.  Yep… that many!  I used Martha Stewart paint in a Satin finish.  If I decide to have a shiny finish I might add a coat of clear shiny something to it…?  I don’t know yet.  We’ll see.  The paint colours were kind of Alex’s idea and it was a total coincidence that they both have “summer” in the name.  So that’s that… There are no real instructions per-say – like almost everything else I make these days, I just sort of went with it.  Hope you enjoy, and maybe this will inspire someone to paint an old wooden box somewhere!

cigar box DIY 2

Linking up at these awesome places plus Cheerios and Lattes, The 36th Avenue, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, WhipperBerry, Savvy Southern Style, and My Repurposed Life.

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Book Page Wreath

Some of you may see this and think “been there, done that.”  In the blogging world, we see no shortage of wreaths made out of just about anything these days!  Does that mean the joy should be sucked out of me making my own?  As I always say, “No way José!”  I wanted to give another wreath a go – after all, circles are such a pleasant shape, aren’t they?  I’m finding we have more and more rounded edges around the house, and I have to say I like it!book page wreath

Here’s the story with this wreath: The more I see other bloggers putting up their tutorials, the more I see materials I do not seem to have/want to pay for.  The foam wreath structures are, as far as I’m concerned, a bit pricey at places like Michaels.  $12?  Really?  That just did not sit right with me.  After all, the goal is to make beautiful things at the lowest possible price, and $12 competes too aggressively with pre-made wreaths I have seen at Home Sense lately for around $15.  If I’m going to spend money, I’d rather not also spend time and if time is to be spent, well the cost best be low, right?  So here is what I used:

  • One of the 7-8 embroidery hoops I got a few weeks back for $2.25 at Goodwill.  (No, I do not do any embroidery – I bought them with wreath daydreams in mind!)
  • An unattractive old book I purchased this weekend for $3.  Never judge a book by its cover, right?  The pages were beautifully aged with rich copper tones at the edges AND there were some illustrations.  Perfection!
  • My trusty glue gun!

book wreath step 1

In the spirit of my usual candidness and honesty, I have to say this:  I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING!  Further honesty?  This is true in the beginning stages of most of my favourite artsy projects.  I just have a vision and I go with it… no instructions, no rules. What is now the front of this wreath originally started out as the back, so you can see in one of the pictures below that I had the leaves on the bottom, embroidery hoop sitting on top.  I still knew nothing about this wreath at that stage, obviously!

book wreath step 2

In the end, I am absolutely enamored with this wreath.  It’s up on our wall leading to the second floor for now, but I have bigger plans for this little project!  Stay tuned…

P.S. anyone catch some of the funny illustrations in the wreath? My favourites are the skeleton and the chickens!

photo 5

Linking up at these awesome places plus Cheerios and Lattes, The 36th Avenue, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, WhipperBerry, Savvy Southern Style, Centsational Girl, The Nester and My Repurposed Life.

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Mini Winter Forest DIY

It has been an honest-to-goodness long, long time since I have posted, right?  I know… And for that I am sorry.  I have slacked off since my blogging marathon in October.  My feelings are almost entirely expressed in my blogger-friend Gillian’s recent post.  She seems to have read my mind when she mentioned feelings of anxiety over not knowing what to do next and feeling the pressure to fall into the niche the 31 Day Challenge created.  I LOVE what I blogged about and I intend to continue, but I was feeling like I ran out of steam, and that has much to do with the pest pet we adopted in October.  Talk about hard work… this little guy is making it his full time job to eat/chew on/make toys out of as many items in our house as possible!  He is a bundle of incessant and annoying wonderful energy!  All kidding aside, we have our ups and downs but we’re making our little family work!

Anyway, I mainly have not blogged out of fear that the content I have now is suddenly not good enough, and that I will let down the few of you that actually read this little tiny blog!  Silly?  Maybe… but aren’t most of our insecurities?  Leaving all negative thoughts behind, I’m happy to say that I am BACK!  I have a full month ahead with decorating an entire house (inside and out) for Christmas for the very first time ever and I intend to share all of my trials and triumphs here with you.  I hope that’s ok.

Let’s start with this little (and I do mean little) guy.  I’ve actually had this in the house for a few weeks now, and I can tell you I love it as much today as the day I made it.  It’s one of the few small projects I have actually finished on my giant blogging/decorating to-do list!  Here is the finished product:

miniature final

And here is how I did it:

part 1 - miniature forest diy

I used 3 miniature snowy trees I bought at Walmart for $1 each, a plate from my kitchen, cotton balls and the thrifted cloche I bought at Value Village a few weeks ago, which up until now had nothing but a few dead rose petals in it (don’t ask…)!  I loosened up the cotton balls a little to make them look less like what they are, and more like fluffy snow, plopped the trees on top, followed by carefully stuffing all loose bits into the cloche.  As far as my husband was concerned, the craft was finished at this point, but I was no fan of that messy/incomplete-looking edge at the bottom of the cloche.  It made the whole thing look too much like trees and cotton stuffed into a small space and less like a magical snowy forest.  Solution: cut some of the small pieces off of the pine branches I just happened to get that morning and place them around the plate.  Better?  I think so!

part 2 - miniature forest diy

And there you have it.  A very quick, inexpensive and easy way to add a little winter wonderland to your home!  I think this could be an adorable centerpiece, but for now it sits on a spot where I can see it as soon as we enter the house, which is a lovely sight!  It makes me think of fond memories of Whitehorse (which was B-E-A-utiful, BTW!).  The trees there were all gently covered with snow, and the mountains were so, so, so gorgeous.  The weather was, as expected, cold (understatement at -22° C), but the warm people definitely made up for that!

Here is where you’ll find me linking up, plus these awesome places: Cheerios and Lattes, The 36th Avenue, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, WhipperBerry, Savvy Southern Style and My Repurposed Life

Master Bedroom Wish-list

It seems this week I am not actually doing anything around the house.  Wonder why that is?  Just take a look at this post about the new addition to our house, and it’s enough said – Luther takes up a lot of our time!  So rather than make something, or fix something (which believe me, I have plans and materials for), I am drawn to the computer, because that is much easier to put that down and tend to whiny/hungry/playful/badly behaved dog than a hot glue gun and some sticks!  Sounds like a thrilling craft project, by the way, doesn’t it?  Wait until I actually make it!  Today’s wishful thinking blog is around the Master Bedroom.  If I ever get around to it (which I eventually will, of course), I think it’s going to look fantastic!  Here’s what I’m considering:

This is what we currently have in the room.  That’s right… a bed and a dresser.  LITERALLY no other furniture.  There’s a collapsible hamper in the corner and an old pillow turned doggy bed resting beside me.  Fantastic, right?

Here’s an idea of what’s in the room:

Courtesy of Ikea

I have no idea about the wall colour yet.  I can’t decide on whether we should go with a warm grey, all white or possibly an off white.  Tough call… I have a very hard time deciding on wall colours.

I have big hopes for this room and lots of inspiration to go with them.  My favourite parts are: the textured wall in image 1, the sunburst mirror in image 2 and the knitted pouff in 3 (I would be happy with one of those in each room of the house!) Of course I love all of the white, but I also love what happens when you mix white and off-whites together.  It creates such a subtle and yet rich texture that makes me think of the foam on a perfect cappuccino.  It’s delicious looking!

123

Here are the next contenders.  I love love love that window seat in the first image (and that view), along with the wall sconces that are so practical, simple and attractive.  I have to say the chandy and that crazy adorable ottoman are my faves in the second picture. The third one kind of has it all – the textures, the lamps, and the natural fiber rug.

123

Here are my dreams for the dresser.  I would love for the mirror to just sit on top of the dresser rather than be up on the wall.  The big green monster came with a big green mirror, and if redone properly, it might just do the trick!  Also loving the lamps on the dresser.  Are they practical?  Maybe not… I could just have one on it and still get the look without taking up all the space that two would need.

12 & 34

123

On the wishlist for the bedroom is also a bench of some sort.  I want to be able to put our pillows on something so they don’t end up on top of the dresser at night.  We can no longer drop them on the floor because Luther will make a doggy fort out of them!  Here are the options I’m considering:

1 & 234

I do want the room to be a bit romantic, and also modern.  Sounds impossible?  We’ll see!  I have a couple of DIY projects I want to get started on to get a bit of the look into the room.

12

Check out the full series here.

I’m dreaming of a white… office!

Yes, I do realize I have not been doing well with this 31 day series because I haven’t actually posted every day.  I don’t want to place any blame on our beautiful new pup (whom I will also post about because he is so awesome!), but he does take up a lot of time and energy, you know?  And I hate to say this,  but I kind of like spending time with him right now a little bit more than writing!  I know… crazy right? 🙂
Anyway, I felt inspired to write about what I want my beautiful home office to look like because lately I have been looking in there, and it just looks like a random, bright yellow room – exactly what it is!

Here are some of my “I wish my office could look like this” pictures, and keep in mind these are also “one day soon my office WILL look like this” pictures!  You can find most of these on my Office Pinterest board, but the images are all linked to the original sites these came from as well so you can see in full detail how these masterpieces were made.

I would basically like an ombre anything in my office (curtains maybe?), but these colours are so delicious, I think I will just have to make it a piece of furniture.  This could be amazing on the back of a big bookshelf too!

House and Home Ikea Tarva makeover

This other Ikea hack really has me thinking.  I basically love the idea of dressers in just about every room of the house now, which is why I have the giant green one in the living room instead of a typical “media unit”.  You can never have enough drawers, especially if you can put your ugly printer inside them!  We do have an old (FREE) dresser int he office now, and I really want to make this happen to it:

PB&J Stories

Re-purposing old things is definitely a new passion of mine, and I love the idea of windows for several reasons but I’ll only give you two: 1. You also cannot ever have enough windows in a  home! 2. They come in all kinds of sizes and shapes.  I love the idea int he picture below, I would just change the pattered areas to something less busy so I can use the glass as a dry/erase area!

Button Bird Designs

As usual, The Nester is one of my main sources of inspiration.  I swear to you, I could just move into this woman’s home and I wouldn’t change a thing!  Her office is pretty much ideal, and what’s one of the main things in there?  You got it… a dresser!  My favourite things about this room?  The big white desk, the round white tray with that adorable little tree in it (because who doesn’t love a touch of nature?), the page-book wreath (!), the pink wreath (am I loving wreaths right now, or what?), the white board and batten and that chair!  I’m never ever going to have another typical desk chair again.  They are too ugly!  Isn’t that parsons chair just so much more pleasant to look at (and probably sit on)?

The Nester

The Nester

Though I love the current weird tan/brown carpet in the ‘office’, I’d love some wood floors and one of these in there.  Ohhhh chevron… such a lovely pattern, isn’t it?

Rugs USA Spectrum Chevron

I realize I just mentioned putting a large pattern on the floor, but I also love the idea of a large pattern on the wall.  Of course it would only be on one wall, and of course it would be totally classy and amazing like this one!

Good Girl Gone Glad

More patterns?  Yes please!  Look at these!  AHHHH!  Gorgeous!!!

Caitlin Wilson Textiles

Lights!  Shiny lights.  How appropriate!

August Empress

And of course the all white concept.  I think this is both luxurious and simple all at once, and it makes an office feel so much more special that way!

Susan Hopkins

Susan Hopkins

So there you have it.  This is how I picture my office looking so far.  Lets hope I can pull this off!

Check out the 31 day series here.

The $20 lamp (and a $4 table)

Remember that thrifting trip a few days ago?  And that lamp I got for $5.99?  Well I got it a pretty little shade from that Ikea trip yesterday for a whopping $10.  Alex found a little white table on someone’s curb a while back, and when we were fixing up the kitchen cabinets, he figured it would do well for resting the doors on while we painted.  Turns out I quite like the little thing and thought it could be of use in the living room.  I went to Canadian Tire and got some primer and spray paint, and today I got to spraying.  Here’s the set up before.

The table may look like it’s in good shape from afar, but this is what it looked like up close:

How sweet if this little note written on the side of the table?  I painted around it, so it’s still there as a lovely little reminder to “think goood” 🙂

Here is the lamp is its full flowery glory:

I taped off areas of the lamp I didn’t want to get paint into, and it was time to get started!

Here’s the lamp primed, table painted in the back.  The flowers are gone!

I moved the painting party to the basement.  Mosquitoes were not only sticking to me, but also to the wet paint!

First coat of paint and it’s already so much better!

And now for the finished product!

I have to say I am extremely happy with it, and for what it cost, it’s the perfect imperfect table-lamp combination.  The little switch on the right is a dimmer I decided to add on so that we have more lighting options.  It’s really nice not being forced to have nothing but an overhead light on in the room.

Lighting – one more step to cozying up our home.

Check the rest of the progress here.

Linking up here!

A thrifty day – #1

This week I felt inspired to try something new: buying old things.  With all of the up-cycled trends lately and all things old being new again, I thought I needed to try it out for myself and see if anything called out to me, and they did.  I followed a very helpful tip from a blogging friend and I made a list – it was a mental list, but that was ok this time because it was very short!  Gillian is blogging about thrifting this month and she has wonderful ideas and writes beautifully.  Please go check her out!

So here is my list:

– clear or coloured glass bowl or vase

– small trays

– old curtains/sheets as potential interesting fabric for pillows

– lamp shade and/or base

Would you believe I found 3 of those 4 things, and one extra… Yes, an extra.  I know it goes against making a list, but I didn’t think I’d find one of t

hese.  Especially not at that price!  How adorably perfect is that?  I’m quite in love with it and have already made plans to have a miniature Christmas tree tucked underneath it for the holidays.  Eeek!  It makes me giddy to picture it!

The other items were as such:

The vase is small, and I love the cracked effect of the glass.  It was a whopping 69 cents!  I have no idea what or if anything will go in it.  It’s sort of perfect on its own.

The lamp base is quite ugly in colour, but that shape… oh dear! I have big plans for this, so keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming reappearance of the lamp post transformation.

The final item is quite special.  I also don’t know yet where it will be used – possibly in the bathroom for jewelry, or just propped up somewhere behind some candles.

Here is the 99 cent piece as I bought it (left).  A bit dirty!  I gave it a little TLC tonight with some baking soda and lemon juice, and it’s ALMOST as good as new (right).  I’ll keep at it and get it just right!

I have no idea if the stamp on the bottom means anything, but the mixture normally used for cleaning brass seemed to work quite well!

I have to say this trip to Value Village was worth every penny!  And I didn’t even spend 10 bucks!!

Catch all 31 days of House to Home here!