Sunday, 30 October 2011

Tasty Treats and Sweet Friends

This year's Halloween Party was slightly diminished due to various illnesses, but nonetheless, fun was had by all who could make it!

There was a lizard, a dragon, a parachute jumper, a motocross driver on a tractor, a Raggedy Andy, a bat and a princess:

There was a witch hunt, a dizzy pin-the-mouth-on-the-pumpkin game

and best of all, a "dress up daddy" game!


The sun was shining, the treats were tasty, and the company was sweet!

Happy Halloween!

The Yellow Room

I quotation from a book that I recently read inspired the design of a guest room in my house:
"Yellow means there's still hope in this pickled, wrinkled, warped world, sugar. 
Yellow means there's a new tomorrow scootin' around the corner, you just wait."
This scrumptious little dress also inspired The Yellow Room.  It was sewn by my mother-in-law and created from various old sheets that I have collected over the years:
Yellow sweetness was my vision, and once again, my goal was to spend a little and re-use a lot.
First off, here are pictures of the room before I got my hands on it.
After a few coats of white paint, and lots of ruffles, roses, and yellow accessories, this is the 'after':

I found this rufflicious duvet cover and pillow cases for only $5.00 at a local thrift store!  The yellow chairs were a fabulous garage sale find from years ago.  The one lamp base was left behind from the previous owners and the other a rummage sale discovery.  All it took was a few coats of spray paint to unify these mismatched bases.  I purchased the lamp shades from good ol' Zellers to create a juxtaposition of a modern look on eclectic bases.  The canopy was a Value Village find originally for my crib of a few years ago and the canvas is a recent Country Chiq painting
Another item left behind was this gorgeous pine bench.  I painted it white and had my mother-in-law sew a pillow cover from an old sheet I had stored away.  I collected the books at a rummage sale, I admit, based on their colour alone, and the mirrors were from a clearance sale at Winners from years ago and painted white.
The curtains were a Ikea purchase from years ago, and the curtain rods were left at the house and I sprayed them white.  The effect is a sweet, ethereal feel for guests. The wicker chairs were $1.50 a piece and the blankets and yellow pillows were garage sale finds. The white rose pillows were purchased with a gift certificate at Winners.

The desk as an exciting garage sale discovery and a steal for $20.00.  I left the fabulous hardware and painted the rest white.  The mirror, frames, and lamp base were from Goodwill and the lampshade was a Country Chiq ruffle shade made from an old t-shirt:!/media/set/?set=a.186332904746152.42774.174641322581977&type=3.

My mother found this funky little stool for me and I covered it with fun fur.

I recently discovered old sheet music at a local junk shop and this yellow treasure shone out at me!  I found a frame in a local thrift store and painted it white.
The final touch to the room was this Country Chiq Yellow Ruffle Flower, although this recent chandelier painting would look amazing as well, but alas, I released it to the L'il Bean n' Green Cafe in Toronto for a Country Chiq art exhibit:!/media/set/?set=a.175520559160720.38643.174641322581977&type=3 .

Needless, to say, when I open the door to this room, I have a sense of "hope just scootin' around the corner". 

Friday, 21 October 2011

Halloween Delights

Halloween Goals:
  • spend no money on decorations,
  • create an eerie elegance,
  • and of course, include ruffles and polka dots

Goals Accomplished!
(I only had to buy new pumpkins to replace a few rotten ones, but to my credit, they were half price!)

This montage was created from items laying around my home. I made this lampshade a couple of years ago with a dollar store boa, a glue gun and some black spray paint.  The gorgeous old typewriter was a left over gift from the previous owners of our home, the candle sticks were from a garage sale and the old books were from my husband's grandfather.  I pulled out last years' supplies of fake cobwebs and spiders, brought in a thrift store mirror and leftover pumpkins from Thanksgiving.

The most delightful part of my Halloween is this ruffle pumpkin I created with fabric and a glue gun.  I just can't resist a ruffle or two in each holiday design. 

My good friend Kylah always stresses the importance of accessorizing.  She can often be heard touting:  "accessories, accessories, accessories!"  I was delighted to rediscover my "Halloween Accessories" in my Halloween storage box: these orange pillow cases I sewed last year from Ikea fabric, and the orange throw.  The ruffle pumpkin and tiny tutu pumpkin added a "wee" sweet touch.

I had so much fun gluing on "polka dot" buttons, ribbons, lace and tutus to these pumpkins.  I had a supply of useless bits of ribbon so I tied them in a knot and pushed them in the big pumpkin with a push pin and thimble.  They began to look like flying bats so I added a few more. I had sewn the table runner last year from leftover Ikea fabric and the table cloth is my year-round vinyl damask fabric from Fabric Land.

And of course, no event is complete without a CountryChiq apron!

My Halloween mantle is set off by "BOO!" flags made from burlap.  I found free templates to print off at:  (I had to make my own exclamation mark using the letter "I" and my own circle).  I simply used a glue stick to attach the letter to the burlap.

I added a mask from my costume box, cobwebs, a spider drawing, cameras from my antique camera collection and a few other treasures to the existing milk glass on the mantle.


I spontaneously created this wreath last weekend when I discovered a boa and a wrinkled tutu in my costume box.  I cut out a circle from cardboard, twisted the boa around it  and slip-knotted wrinkled tulle in between the feathers.  I like to think of it as eerie yet elegant (and absolutely free)!

My final job was to paint more pumpkins in chalkboard paint (my Thanksgiving pumpkins rotted in the unusually warm weather). 

As always, happy thrifty decorating.  You will be amazed at what you can create by simply looking with a different "eye" at the items in your own home.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A Fair Weekend

Have you ever watched one of those TV shows about a family and wished that your family could have that warm and fuzzy TV experience?  For my sister and I, Parenthood makes us wish.  We have wished for a large family gathering with the wonderful chaos that happens when generations of family members gather together.  Well, this weekend we had our Parenthood moment.  We had a full cousin sleepover, attended the Erin Fall Fair together and spent a glorious and abnormally warm Thanksgiving Monday swimming in our pool and hot tub. This is the stuff that TV stories are made from.

I must admit, I have been so excited about attending the Erin Fall Fair since we discovered Erin a few years ago while searching through real estate options.  And even after all the hype I have generated, my expectations were fulfilled. 

A huge draw for my girls was the giant pumpkin contest. 

In fact, they provided a backdrop for many a family photo:

The powdered donuts were devilishly delicious and the fried food a glorious indulgence.

The bright carny colours and the gorgeous fall sky inspired these photos
(taken with my cell phone camera)

The big momma pig was a favourite,

the reptiles fascinating,

and of course the rides were the main attraction:

After the fair, we returned to our home and spent the afternoon eating appetizers, preparing the turkey dinner and swimming.  In fact this year's family photo was around the pool, which may never happen again as we were experiencing an uncharacteristically warm fall day.

We joined forces rather quickly for this photo, which in itself is a huge feat for our family. We only missed one sleeping teenager and we had a lovely addition of a helpful visiting teenager.

The feast orchestrated by my brother was like no other and after we held an impromptu birthday celebration for my newly minted teenage nephew.

Overall, family ties were bonded,

generations celebrated:

and a sense of thankfulness abounded.  We felt truly blessed for all that we have been given.  May there be many years ahead of family celebrations.