Christmas is coming! Despite the warm weather and the lack of snow here, Christmas is not far away so it's time for me to decorate the front porch. It's the first place I add that festive touch each year. Lucky for me I live out in the country and have a variety of evergreens to choose from. I take a stroll around the yard and gather up some greenery and fill up my urns and also line the porch railing. most years I have also added sticks of "dogwood" and pieces of sumac trees. Both with a rich red to contrast with the green. I also add pine cones for that final, natural touch. This year however I wanted to change things up! So..... I hiked in the woods with my friend Lisa and found some fallen birch branches and we dragged them back home. It would have made an interesting Youtube video especially when Lisa smacked me in the back of the head- accidentally of course! I put some birch in my urns and then added the evergreens and finished off with some copper Christmas balls and pine cones, both on sticks to push into the urns. These I got from Walmart- unfortunately they don't grow in my back yard! Then I added some to the boughs along the railings. My husband put the Christmas lights up and we were open for business.....
Here are some other homes decked out and ready for Santa!
Tin Barn market- Almonte
While out shopping with my mum recently I stumbled upon this wonderful find, previously unknown to me! If you like a good old treasure hunt, the "Tin Barn Market" is for you! It is run by two young entrepaneurs with a passion for vintage finds. Errin Stone and Vicki Veestra source their treasures from all over eastern Ontario and also make their own. Previously running the business out of a family barn during the summer, they now have a quaint Winter cabin themed shop nestled between two other great stores in the small town of Almonte (if you are local to the Ottawa area- stop by!). They are open until December 24 to supply us with great vintage pieces mixed in with handcrafted gifts and great ideas on how to use and display them.
I have been several times now and plan to go again before Christmas. I managed to find a cute glass owl- I'm crazy for OWLS ( check out previous blog post!) and also an amazing old glass globe from a light fixture. They had it nestled in on a fireplace mantle with Christmas lights inside it and I couldn't resist it! I may even attempt to make it into a new fixture, after I put out for Christmas.
So if you are looking for somewhere different with locally made and sourced gifts, come on out to the Tin Barn Market. You will love it like I do...... Check them out on facebook too.
Classic design never goes out of style and Italian Design House Missoni is no exception to this rule. They began in the 50's as a family knitwear business with an easily recognizable look that is still seen today and associated to their name immediately. Like every successful company they diversified and added to their portfolio by including shoes, purses, hats and then finally into looks for the home. Over recent months I have caught glimpses of their cool and colourful products and wanted to add them to my ever growing list of must haves! One day............. Finding the products in Canada isn't that easy yet but it will be. A new line of affordable items for Target will be here when the well known store opens up in our fine country! Check out Missoni at it's best-
Also why not stay at a Missoni hotel and indulge yourself in the full and colourful experience at their many establishments around the world. Based on the warmth of an Italian family inviting you in and surrounding you with colour and life. Check these out!
So there's something for you to look at and once again be inspired by the colours and the designs and textures. One piece could give you the entire colour palette for your home!
For many moons now my friend and fellow decorator/craft nut Lisa and I have been drooling over a light we have seen over and over wherever we looked. Then we stumbled across some articles on line to show us how to make our own. So...........of course we had to get together and give it a try. Lisa made one at home first and then guided me through the process. out at my house when we had a girl's crafty day!
A balloon( circle-we got ours at Partymart $4.99) or you could use a beach ball.
2 small or 1 large ball of yarn( not too thick or fluffy!) I got mine for $3.00 at Walmart.
Fabric stiffener (ours was "Stiffy" - from Michaels $11.50, but we used 50% off coupon at Michael's so it was cheaper!
First thing we did was blow up the balloon( well, we got my hubby Steve to do it as we were not doing too well!!!).
Next we tied the balloons to the ceiling in the basement to hold it in front of us.
Next we put a ball of yarn in the bucket and added the stiffener, pouring over top. Word of caution don't take out the cardboard centre from the ball or mix yarn too much. Just push the yarn into solution and coat it well.
Then pull out yarn and wrap around the balloon in a random, criss-cross pattern. Make sure it sticks well, keep going until it is well covered.
If you have leftover fabric stiffener you can dab it all over with a foam brush for extra protection. Then leave it hanging to dry over night.
It will harden, then you carefully pop the balloon.
Next to allow you to use it as a pendant fixture and hang it up, you can do as I did and buy a cheap light from IKEA at $5.99. It comes with wire and ceiling cover and a plastic shade.
We just replaced the shade with our homemade creation. I researched and hunted around for lighting kits, complete or in pieces that we could put together but then my husband found this cheap and ready to go light. It was easier and less work!
You can make a hole near the top to allow you to change the bulb. Push the lighting cable up through an existing hole in the woven yarn.
While drooling over these cool lights in my magazines and all over the internet, I realised that the originals were thousands of dollars and even the knock-off's were too rich for my blood! So making it myself gave me great satisfaction as well as being easy on my wallet!! Check out the finished results. I love them.........
Also scan through these originals and some great rooms using them. Then.... make your own like we did! Have fun, get messy, get creative. There is nothing more rewarding.
I recently decided to paint something, what's new I hear you say! This time it was my t.v cabinet. It's a piece from IKEA in antiqued pine and I really wanted to replace it with something sleeker but the budget doesn't allow. So if in doubt , paint it I always say! I chose a colour one shade darker than the one used in my dining room and my office to bring the blue/green into the back of the house to tie it all in. The colour I used was HC-142 Stratton Blue by Benjamin Moore and the product is "Advance" an amazing latex/oil hybrid that covers really well, is easy to apply and looks great! First I lightly sanded the piece of furniture, then primed it and then added two coats using a micro fibre roller. I love the finished product and it adds a pop of colour to my family room, another layer towards completing my room. I also found a couple of new pillows this week to bring in too. Next up is a great rug.....just waiting for the new IKEA to open to pick it up!
My favourite part of the room however is my daughter's latest piece of art inspired by Audrey Hepburn.
Here is my latest project from start to finish...
The quickest and easiest way to update or change your furniture is with paint. It adds colour and personality. Take a look at these great examples....
Yesterday I went to one of my favourite little nearby towns Almonte. My husband and I had a "coffee date", not at Starbucks I hear you say!. No this time we went to "Palms" a great place for good coffee and homemade goodies while looking at the local art on the walls. It's just across the street from a fabulous gift and home decor store, called BLACKBIRD I pop in there every few months to see what's new. This time I found a cool jewelery holder, I had been contemplating making something as my current storage solution wasn't big enough! I guess I need to stop buying more shiny objects.... My new find is called "The Little black Dress" by Umbra, it hangs on your closet rod, or on the back of a door. It looks nice and is useful at the same time, and what girl doesn't need a little black dress! I also found a couple of Christmas gifts while checking out the funky local jewelery. You can find art, bath products,linens, clothing and much more.It's really worth a drive out to Almonte. Next Friday November 11th from 5-10pm they are having a Christmas Open House and I will definitely be there!
Why don't you come on out and check it out too....