The last project of 2010

I worked hard to complete my entrance and powder room update, but there are not enough hours in a day and I really didn’t anticipate it being so much work. ha ha.
The powder room update is finished for the most part. The small details remain, but I will finish those with the entry details when I get an opportunity.
The baseboards and window frame were changed. I added a chair rail and although you can’t tell, there are two different colours between the top and the bottom.
Most everything was found at the GW or other thrift stores. If I had a bazillion dollars, or even a few, I’d change a few other things too, but I’m working with what I have. It’s a very small space so taking photos was not easy.
Are you wondering what the “P” stands for?  It’s not for the obvious that happens in a washroom, it stands for Powder Room. :)
These are the junkin’ finds and what I paid for them:
Little lamp – $4.00
Lantern – $3.00
Hand towels – $1.00 each
Bombay plates – $1.00 each
Shelf – $2.00
White oval frame -  $3.00
Pottery Barn clock – $4.00
Mirror – $6.00
Toilet roll holder – $1.50
Total: $30.50
This makes me very happy :)

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2010 in retrospect

As I looked through my blog to write this post, I was surprised at how much I had accomplished this year.  I had a little help along the way, but most things were done by me, by myself, with little to no previous experience.
The update to my home started in 2009 when I painted my kitchen cabinets. 2010 rolls around and I had to paint the walls, remove and replace the existing floor tiles and rip out and reinstall a new backsplash. The baseboards were replaced as well as installing new crown moulding.
My bedroom was a mess. If you are like most other mum’s, we always seem to come last.
bedroom makeover 004
And updated one more time
I created knock off art because the real thing is way out of my price range
When the weather warmed up, I tackled the front entrance
After, much better
The back patio was also updated with an update to a new to me patio set and new patio stones
There were lots of thrifty finds along the way, these are some of my favourites
A beautiful cloche. Life before Marty (at a stroll through life) did not include cloches :)
A $20 lingerie chest gets an update
Free coffee bean sacks became decor and gifts
The old colour scheme in my dining and living room had to go

I added an empty picture frame gallery which I had a lot of fun with, changing it up for the seasons
The dining room got striped, I updated a new to me dining set and made my own drum shade chandy.
I also got crafty, making gifts for family and friends
I had hoped to have my front entry and powder room done before 2011, but I’m afraid it is almost upon us and I’m not done. The powder room will be completed today, but not the entry.
It’s been a fabulous year! You all continue to inspire me. I hope that I have inspired some of you. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your journey.
All the best to you in 2011.

The Lettered Cottage


Updating the entry and powder room

I have a few days off of work, so I decided to put them to use.

I bought a blue paint that I thought would read grey/blue, but it just reads blue. I’m going to experiment and add some grey, wish me luck.

This space is tired and still has my old colour scheme going on. I am limiting my update to things I already have in the house, some mouldings and paint.

Here is the embarrassing before, although our coats and shoes have been cleared out.

The mirror and light fixture are staying. The vent has to stay as it vents the shower in the basement.


This ugly door hides the kitchen to my basement apartment. It was originally the laundry room and that’s why there are vents in the door. The laundry room was relocated to the closet where the sliding mirror doors are. My furnace is also in there and it’s very tiny. I have nowhere to hang our coats. I’m going to have to come up with some creative storage for our coats and shoes.


I’m not sure what I was thinking when I painted the front door in the golden yellow. lol

The boob light will also be replaced. There is a bifold door to my powder room. It sucks but it was the best alternative to the original door, which hit the front door when it was swung open. There is no room for a pocket door as the vent runs to the left of it and there is not enough room to the right.

new mat


I’ve left this space for a long time as I had trouble coming up with a plan to make it look better despite all of the doors, what colours to use and actually finding the time to get to it. I don’t know about you, but I find smaller spaces are always so much more work.

I’m off to the hardware store to have them rip me some mdf for new baseboards.


I crack me up

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am lost in the culinary arts department, and I don’t mean at the local college either : >

Julie at Less-than-Perfect Life of Bliss posted the instructions on making a cheese ball snowman, and since I have to bring something into work tomorrow, I thought this would be the perfect thing!  Easy-yep, Fast-checkarooni, Yummy-youbetcha.

What Julie didn’t point out is that you have to have some presentation skills – oops! I’m sure she thought it was a given, but not for me. I’m dying of laughter here, people.

I give you my cheese-ball-snowman that looks more like a sad cockapoo.


See what I mean?


There is no way I am bringing this in to work!


Homemade Christmas done

Budget restrains (ha), forced me to come up with some inexpensive gifts. I was also working around my regular day job schedule as well as working every weekend for the last month. I hope my friends enjoy these as much as I enjoyed making them, for them.

I hate wrapping. Anything. Case in point. But at least they are done and my homemade Christmas gifts are ready to go.

A personalized mug for each person, filled with candy canes and Hershey kisses


A family name sign for each family


And a personalized burlap stocking each


I got to hang out with a very special man…

Mel and Santa (1)-1

Wishing all of you and yours, a very Merry Christmas!



Christmas gifts–initial mugs

Following the tutorial at Design Mom, I created a bunch of mugs that will be filled with chocolates and candy canes.

Rather than use graphite paper, I used my cricut to cut out the initials on to contact paper.


Then I used a pebeo ceramic pen to trace the letter, then fill it in with lines.


Next time I will use a fine tip pen, rather than a chunky one.

They are not perfect and according to Design Mom, aren’t supposed to be *whoosh, wiping sweat from brow*, which is perfect for me.

The mugs were a dollar each at Dollorama, the pen was about $12 and once I fill and wrap them, I don’t expect them to be more than $3 each. Not bad for a personalized gift.

Here is the whole bunch…



Christmas Gifts – Burlap stockings

I have completed the coffee sack stockings for myself and my kids and then moved on to another large blended family.


I also completed two more family name signs.

One for my BFF


and one for my parents


I have a couple more signs to make and more stockings, then that is taken care of.

I’ve really enjoyed making these thrifty gifts for family and friends.


Christmas gifts–family name signs

I wanted to make something for family and friends that wouldn’t break the bank this year. I decided to make some family name signs; a personalized hand-made gift, just perfect.

I bought a 24” x 48” piece of poplar and had the grumpy man at HD cut it for me. I am able to make 6 signs with the one piece. I chose poplar because it’s lightweight and smooth.

I gave each piece a couple of coats of a creamy white BM paint that I got for free from the recycle centre.  I distressed all of the edges, cut out the vinyl and attached it.

So far I’ve made two, with 4 more to go. (Lainey, look no further or you will spoil your surprise)

By the time I purchased the vinyl and the wood, each sign cost me about $2.



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