Weekend Recap – Killer leather chairs!


Monday – is my least favourite day of the week, I must say…I just hate it. Everyones’ in a rush, works busy as f*ck and rush hour seems to be 5x worse than usual.

Via this post, I am going to put a positive spin on Mondays and say it is what you make it and I am going to make it awesome.

I cracked open some wine, made breakfast for dinner and played in my head how freakin wicked the weekend was because I picked up some sexy wood (featuring leather) chairs.

I paid $10 for these bad boys (or girls) at a garage sale on the weekend. It was hella cold but worth it as the sale had some noteworthy things. Chairs are pretty plentiful these days [in my life] however these ones really stood out.

I was told they were antique, though I would say that they are more circa 1940’s. They have Spanish styling and appear to be made of Venadillo Wood. Based on my research and what I have seen on the market, they are from either Columbia or Mexico. I will keep you posted if I learn anything more on them.

I hope you turn that Monday frown upside down and have an excellent evening. My glass of wine is now finished but the jazz is still playing.

A house is not a home

IMG_6702“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”

― Ellen Goodman

I was surfing the net this week and came across this quote above. I realized I do not enjoy my house as much as I could for the daily time and effort I put into it. I asked myself:

How many rooms do I really use? Why don’t I use the other rooms? I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into someone’s house to find a bunch of rooms that make no sense…

Sox is rarely allowed on furniture this time I let him stay for the photo
Sox is rarely allowed on furniture this time I let him stay for the photo

The lonely living room that has never been touched, the spare bedroom that is kept for when guests come over (once a year) and the home office that ends up being used once because for some reason the laptop made its way to the kitchen table, permanently.

I am guilty myself, so took a long hard look at my house this weekend and made it my mission to give each room a real purpose. Here’s how I changed things for the better:

  1. I fixed the “feng shui” in each room to create only positive vibes + good energy. Essentially anything that was pissing me off, I fixed. I made the design of each room work for its purpose.
  2. After, I decided what I wanted to use the room for, I added a bunch of practical items that I really love to make each space, a place that invokes a feeling of joy. The kitchen has some vintage nifty kitchen gadgets on display and a replica crosley radio tuned into CBC 103.3.
  3. I made it effortless! Books were added near each reading chair for easy grab, the laptop power-cord was put where I always use the laptop,  nuts for snacking on were added in the bowl on the dining table etc. IMG_6706

The changes to the rooms are already making me feel happier and like some weight has been lifted. Perhaps surrounding yourself with positive things, just makes you more positive.

I forgot to mention I bought myself a $6 bouquet of flowers which I put right inside the front door on the counter. The beauty and smell is such a nice thing to come home to.

To me a house is not a home until it feels comfortable and lived in.

I challenge you to look at your house tonight and make sure it feels like a home. Sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference.

Don’t forget to refer to my article How to Decorate Smart with Older Furniture and Home Accessories and Three Stores & Hours of Shopping (Ottawa, ON) to learn about some wicked places to get some antiques & vintage items – should you wish to spruce up your space.


Antiques & A Can of Worms

IMG_6228Have you ever bought one antique [or thing] and it opened a can of worms? Not in a bad way, it just triggered you to buy more great things? That’s what just happened to me…

A week ago I was searching the net for a headboard for my bed and I ended up finding a stunning antique bed frame. The frame was solid wood and the ornate lines made me instantly fall in love with it.IMG_6216

It turned out once I arrived for the viewing there was a dresser and a wash stand for sale as well. I bought the whole package and redesigned my whole room in somewhat of a Moroccan style over the past few days.

Some things to consider when you love vintage & antique and want to redesign on a budget:

Visit the Habitat for Humanity restore or a place like it in your own community. You get used home reno supplies for nearly half the price or less. I found out about this place one day as I was digging though a curb pile of free stuff, the homeowner came out and mentioned the restore to me. I appreciated the great tip as I had never been and now I am a huge fan.

IMG_6225I got a shabby-chic wood bedroom door and managed to find an antique set of knobs that fit it like a glove [it even has the old school lock area], in total they cost me $80 at the Restore.

I also found wicked vintage knobs and pulls for the dresser since the ones it had were broken or missing. I only spent $10 for the ones on the dresser. I also got a vintage vent for the wall as the one there was not so sexy.

Only buy paint in the mis-tints section! I found this beige (with a purple undertone paint) for $10 for a huge can. I spent more on the can of paint for the other bold wall but at least overall saved some dough. I needed to paint the entire room and rid it of the sunshine yellow walls. I will always recommend mis-tints.IMG_6229

The bedspread is not designer it is from Walmart but was under $100 and a great deal. Plus who doesn’t love bed in a bag, everything you could need all there in one nice package. I don’t buy used bedding, underwear or swimsuits but definitely by used fabric table mats and decorative pillows. All the pillows and tables toppers/mats in the room are from Value Village and garage sales. Save the money and get used pillows – you will save a bundle. They almost all retail for $15-30 bucks a pop these days.

Get Creative! I did not need a wash stand but thought to myself IMG_6234that it could make a superb necklace holder and storage unit in the bedroom. It had potential and I was able to give it a new life!

Know where to go? Pictures and decorative knick knacks are usually pricey in store, always buy these used. I spent about $5 on some candleholders, candles, wall art, and jewellery boxes at a garage sale. It makes the space more “you” but really doesn’t need to cost much.

IMG_6237Don’t feel like your the only one who starts these little home projects that end up costing a little more money and taking a bit more time than anticipated. I never think of it like that anymore –

It always feels good to find that one piece that motivates you to do something new and different.

I quite like antiques. I like things that are old and the history they bring with them. I would rather fly to Morocco on an $800 ticket and buy a chair for $300 than spend $1,100 on one at Pottery Barn.

~Walton Goggins




It doesn’t matter if its black and white

pizap.com14296603436921I work in colour sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it.
 -Mary Ellen Mark

A few weeks ago the snow started to melt and I was eager to hit the road, garage sale season was upon us.

I jumped in the truck and flew down the street to a garage sale I knew was happening from signage I saw posted earlier in the week at four way stops in my village.

I arrived at the sale and it wasn’t long until I purchased some light bulbs, a neat vintage medicine cabinet for $4 and other household goods I found in the homeowners garage and on the driveway.

As I went to leave I paused instantly as my eyes were fixated on a shelf hidden on the front porch behind some other “SOLD” furniture.

I asked the gentlemen if the shelf was for sale, he said I could have it for free and it came from an early 1900’s farm house that was once inhabited across the street. You could imagine how quickly my curiosity face was replaced by an ear to ear smile. The shelf made it home and it wasn’t long until I found it a free table friend (three days later on garbage day) from a different farm house on the same street.

I always think to myself, if an item were shown in only a black and white photo would it still be beautiful? Could you still see the craftsmanship and guess the age of the piece?

I really gravitated to the shelf and this little table because the lines were not only incredible but they both brought me back to a moment in time where the hand would touch the piece of wood and beauty was defined not by machinery perfection but by an imperfection of authenticity here or there.

When was the last time you laid eyes in something that made you see it’s beauty in black and white?

Wonders in the Woods


Grab a coffee, tea or “other” beverage and take a load off – have I got a story for you.

It was a cold day but for some reason I decided to put my tuque on yesterday [along with thick garden gloves] and grab a shovel. My mission was to clear out all the glass and garbage along the side of the river on my property. The photo to the left depicts my small yet thrilling area of focus yesterday.

Now this house I live in has some history to it and the more and more I dig, the more I uncover about what may of happened here over a hundred years ago. I have only just [at this moment] started to read a small paper that was written about the town I live in and I am fascinated to read more.

I will start off with telling you, I had uncovered two trailer loads full of scrap metal from just this area and the adjacent spot alone. Old stove parts and many unrecognizable items. After much effort exerted my shovel final struck something hard. My dog and I started to dig by hand and paw when we started to see an iron headboard appearing before our eyes. I must of spent an hour trying to get it out.IMG_2590

This scroll headboard is strong and is truly priceless to me. Iron bed frames were all the rage prior to World War I (1914) when the use of iron drifted over to making weapons. Before this time in the late 1800’s iron bed artisans suggested that not only was iron durable and elegant but it provided a more sanitary place in which to sleep. The value of iron headboards [or frames] will never go down, as in my mind they will always be an alternative for those that aren’t into a heavy wood.

What I found next was slightly creepy and not a stroll through the Sunday park…bones, bones and more bones. The occasional fella [boyfriend or neighbour] would walk over a say that’s an animal bone, I said I sure hope so.

Onto the next creepy thing…half faced dolly. Between the doll and the girly bed related object, I was starting to picture in my mind the little girl that once inhabited this land.

IMG_2596Wooden dolls were quite popular in the years leading up and into the mid 1800’s. Wax dolls then started to rise on the horizon along with Porcelain dolls. Between the 1800-1900’s doll makers also used composite [basicly sawdust and glue] to make the bodies and heads of dolls. These were on the scene primarily from the 1920’s-40’s.

It was not until after World War II [which finished in 1945] that doll makers began to work with plastics. Other materials such as vinyl and rubber were used in later years.

There are a few ways to distinguish a hard plastic newer doll from composition. I will be testing out these waters tomorrow night.

Now back to the dig. It was getting dangerous for a while as I was pulling out sideways shards of glass from the dirt. It seemed to be never ending. I pulled out enough glass to fill two full garbage cans, if you can believe it. Then…out came the true to form bicycle seat along with a few other circular metal things.

The history of the first bicycle dates back to 1817 however it appears there was talk [or think] of something like the bicycle earlier than that through a sketch. Wouldn’t it be funny if I pulled out the rest if the bicycle?

I was riding high on my days finds when I remembered how a few weekends ago I came across something rather cool that had made it to my lawn scrap metal pile. I pulled it from the pack and really took an intense look at it. What is it?IMG_2594

It has a hook on the top of it [or bottom] and a really ornate pattern. I was thinking it may of been part of a light but I am rather unsure. If anyone has a clue or any indication please shoot me a message.

Wandering through the woods is one of my favourite things to do, it passes the hours and opens my mind to think about how things came to be.

Come back soon for more on my discoveries in town and around.