Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Guest Bathroom Reno: Before & Afters!

The Before...

This is what our Guest Bathroom looked like when we started. The Mr. and I decided it was time for a serious facelift.



The Demo....

We managed to take down all the tile in the tub surround and ceiling (the ceiling was tiled - that's weird, right?) as well as the floor. The tub surround tile came down pretty easily since we were also ripping out the drywall behind the tile. We were able to rip it off in large chunks and avoided having to chip off every tile. The floor was trickier to demolish because the tiles were attached to a chipboard sub floor that was nailed to the ground about every 6 inches. We were pretty happy once that job was done. What a mess! We also took out the old vanity and toilet and cleaned up the space so it was ready for all the shiny new items we picked out!



Once it was ripped out we installed a new tub and hung some new cement backer board to get ready for some fresh white subway tiles and accent glass mosaic tiles.



The new slate grey floor went in and it was starting to come together!



And now the Afters...








I'm in love! So happy with how the transformation turned out. YAY!
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PS.. I'm showing off at Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After Party. There are some seriously awesome before and afters at this partay - click below to join in on the B&A fun!

TDC Before and After

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our Newest Family Member

I was just chatting with a friend who reminded me that there was something I could cross off of my "30 before 30" list (which still needs to reach 30 items but that's beside the point). Back in October we were contacted by the rescue where we got our sweet Weimaraner boy, Buckeye. We have volunteered for them since bringing him home, they reached out to us to see if we could lend a hand (or.. paw!) to a little girl who needed some help.

Zoey has had a bit of a rough start at life. She was found as a puppy with her two brothers and mom outside in the cold Michigan winter weather living in a wooden crate. Great Lakes Weimaraner Rescue saved them all, giving them a second chance at a good life. From there, Zoey lived in a foster home in Michigan before being adopted in Ontario, Canada. She lived with her adoptive family for about 6 months before being returned when the family could no longer afford to keep her. She was returned to the rescue heartworm positive, thin and with mange. She then moved to yet another foster family. She lived with 3 other dogs in a very small space for that many animals, and after about 6 more months they could no longer keep her. That's when the rescue called us to see if we could take her temporarily before she could get to a longer term foster home.

Enter list item: Give a dog in need a foster home (check!)

We picked up Zoey one evening in late October with the intention of keeping her for 2 weeks before she could move on to the next foster home. 2 weeks unexpectedly turned into a month before her new foster home was ready to take her. By then, she had won her way into our home and hearts and we decided that our home should be her forever home. Her and Buckeye got along so well (even though he still looks at us sometimes as if to say "Is she leaving yet?") and she fit into our family's lifestyle perfectly.

Zoey (R) and her "brother" Buckeye (L)
For anyone considering getting a pup in the future, please, please, please consider adoption. There are rescue organizations out there for every breed imaginable, and if you're not picky on breed there are lots of pups waiting for forever homes at local shelters. Don't buy from a breeder or especially a pet store. Puppies are not products.

Welcome home, Zoey!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Almost Christmas Already!?

I must admit, I've been a very bad blogger! We adopted a new pup, our second Weimaraner in October. Two four legged friends have been keeping us busy since then. I whipped up a Pan Am stewardess outfit for Halloween.. not my easiest Halloween costume, let me tell you. It was also hot as heck (thank you polyester).


I've also been working on Christmas gifts for the important people in my life. A quilt for my sister (hope she's not reading this!) and some reusable shopping bags for some friends {tutorial here}.

But my biggest project has been my Etsy shop! I'm still working on the items to stock the shop - more on that later.

Thanks for stopping by,

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Pasta Sauce {Recipe}

I love this time of year. It's officially fall and the leaves are starting to change, and the markets are brimming with the last of summer's bounty and the best of fall favourites. This past weekend I headed to our local farmer's market to pick up some fresh produce while it lasts. It's a long, cold winter here, friends. Every year I love to take advantage of the fresh local fruits and veggies by preserving and putting up items for the chilly days ahead.

I hadn't planned on picking up a giant basket of tomatoes, but I did. It seemed like such a good deal, and the perfectly ripe roma tomatoes looked too good to pass up. I bought the basket, some onions and peppers and headed home to make way more sauce than we'll ever need enough pasta sauce to last us all winter long.


Now that's a lot of tomatoes! Here's how to make the sauce...

Wash the tomatoes place them in batches into a simmering pot of water until the skins split and begin to peel back.


Remove from the simmering pot, peel every. single. one. and then chop them up and throw them in a large pot. The biggest one you've got! I ended up having to use 2 because I had soo many tomatoes.

Meanwhile, my red peppers were roasting away in the oven.

Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds, brush on some olive oil and put them on the middle rack under the broiler on high until the skins began to bubble and brown.


Once the peppers are cooled, chop them up and throw them into the pot with the tomatoes.

Then add the following:

2 chopped sweet onions
2 chopped green peppers
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 whole head garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp dried oregano
Salt & pepper
Dash nutmeg & cinnamon
4-5 bay leaves
4-5 springs thyme

Mix all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat until it's simmering and then let it simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring often to avoid it from sticking to the bottom. The tomatoes will make the sauce really watery, so make sure you boil off some of the water.


I like the sauce to be a bit chunky, but if you prefer you can blend it once cool with an immersion blender or put in batches into a blender (just make sure it's really cool!).


Once the sauce is completely cooled, freeze in meal size portions in freezer bags until you need some. It really is amazing on a cold, wintery day.


Do you make your own sauce? Or do you have any other ways you like to preserve the tastes of summer?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Side Table Marathon Makeover {The Afters!}

I'm calling this a "Marathon Makeover" because quite literally, it was a makeover that took about 15 times longer than I had expected! First, there was the paint stripper incident. Then once I had that sorted, I got to painting. I ended up painting on 2 coats of my no-fail-always-covers-go-to-primer, Bulls Eye 123, but even that struggled to cover the mess that was created by my blotchy sanding job. After the 2 coats of primer, I also painted on about 7 {yes, you read that correctly, SEVEN} coats of BM latex paint. Finally they were white enough to live with, so I sprayed on a few coats of clear Varathane and added some pretty new pulls from Lee Valley Tools.

Let me remind you what they looked like before...

And {finally}, voila!



I think they turned out pretty well after all that! Now I have my sights set on the matching dresser. But this time, I think I'll skip the paint stripper...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let's talk about stripping {Paint, that is!}

I was hoping to have some lovely before and after pics to share, but instead I just have a few words to say about paint stripper, and a whole lot more painting ahead of me.

When I had the brilliant idea to use paint stripper to remove the varnish on a pair of bedside tables destined for a makeover, I had no idea that I'd actually be doubling {or even tripling} the amount of work it would be.

Here is the before shot of one of the hand me down side tables...


Its mate had a bit of damage to be repaired..


I picked up some eco paint stripper a while back and thought that I could use it to remove some of that nasty varnish and cut down on the amount of sanding I'd have to do. Wrong-o! I followed the directions and swiped on the stripper in thick batches using a brush, then let it sit for about 3 hours.



Then I started scraping. Not sure if it was because I didn't lay it on thick enough, or if I didn't let it sit long enough, but when I scraped away, some parts came off like a dream while others stuck with irritating determination. I scraped off what I could and spent a good few hours sanding and this is what I ended up with...


Needless to say, I have already painted two coats of primer and 3 coats of regular latex paint and can still see the blotches through the paint. Next time, I think I'll skip the paint stripper! I would consider using it again for antique pieces or when you want to re-stain something, since you need to get rid of all varnish and sand down to the bare wood in order to re-stain. But for the rest of my hand-me-down-cheap-wood-varnish-covered-particleboard, me and paint stripper will be parting ways. It's sand, prime and paint all the way my friends!

Stay tuned for the after photos.. I promise, they're coming!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

An Old Chair Makeover

Two makeovers in one week - so far August is off to a good start! I'm beginning to think I should have called my blog "Makeoverland".. but that's beside the point. So let's get on with it shall we?

Here is what this $20 Craigslist find looked like before:


She's cute.. and has nice curves.. but is rather boring and the cushion was hard as a rock. Here is what it looks like now, after a lick of paint, new foam cushion and some jazzy new fabric:


I know you've probably come across a tutorial or two on recovering a chair cushion, but for those of you who are wondering, here's how it's done.

I unscrewed the seat off the original chair and pulled off the cushion. After pulling up the old fabric I discovered why the cushion was so rock hard to sit on...


The cushion must have been pretty old because it was filled with straw. Yuck!! I took the base of the chair to the foam shop and had a new piece cut. I spray glued the new foam to the wood base and covered it with some thick batting for extra comfort.


Next I got out my handy staple gun and stapled the new fabric to the cushion base, keeping it smooth and tight as I worked my way around.



I painted the chair base a mix of a white and darker grey colour I had in my collection. A couple coats of paint and Varathane and it was done! I reattached the cushion.. and voila!


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