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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Are you sure you paid the light bill?

I can't recall, in the past years, a summer that started as slowly and chilly as this one.  I took the week off to get some painting done and the little rental house doesn't accommodate much work to happen inside so the idea was to work outside.  I was thinking maybe Mr. Biff forgot to pay the light bill because its been anything but light!

The truth of it is I did get some things painted yesterday and forgot - the neophyte blogger that I am to take "before" pictures - it almost makes posting the after a moot point because you just have to believe my description of the before....*giggle*  I promise I will get the hang of it.

In the meantime to satisfy any highly felt need to see photos here's the cutest one of the day:  this is my little "Bee" sleeping soundly as I type away - she is the sweetest dog ever.  I affectionately call her my "pilot" dog because she pilots me everywhere around the house - wherever I am - Bee is.  I have this great sign that says "I hope I am half the person my dog thinks I am" and it's so true.  Bee even tried to help me when I was spray painting and got one of her little paws stuck to the plastic sheet (I didn't see her sneak up on me - mask, goggles and apparently socks for her too next time...hee,hee!)

Tomorrow is Canada downtown to the festivities.  I do hope to see the fireworks tomorrow night out on the harbour.  Now if Mr. Biff paid the light bill today - who knows tomorrow there might even be SUN!


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

$1.49 Day Tuesday!

Does anyone else remember $1.49 day?  A gazillion (yes it is actually a real measure of time) years ago when I was little (now you know we are really talking a gazillion years!) I used to go downtown Vancouver on the bus with my Mum and my Nanny (Grandma).  We would go especially for $1.49 day at Woodwards Department store.  We would go and pick up all of the specials and then trip on over to the Army & Navy store - which was, I think, my first experience with discount or thrift type shopping (see - no wonder I am a shopper by nature!).  Many deals were had at the old Army & Navy.   In the mid sixties some time I got the absolutest neato-keen yellow patent vinyl sling back shoes with a white plastic daisy on the front - they were to die for and I practically did.  I begged and whined and generally (I am sure) made Mum's life miserable on one of those shopping trips until she gave in and let me buy them with my own money.  I also bought a pair of white fishnet stockings - I think I was in grade 7 maybe......imagine - yellow patent and white fishnet - does it get better than that?  To top it off my Mum made me a dress out of one of her old dresses - it would have been very in style today (they say fashion just cycles around and it's so true).  The dress had a yellow yoke and a navy pleated bottom - it was kind of like a smock dress.  Now that's what I'm talkin' about.....working it at 12!~  Such fun memories - if you have any of $1.49 days - please share!!  The best part about it tho was spending the day with my Mum and Nan - we always went for lunch at one of the department store cafeterias - it was a real day out! 

What's cool about looking back is how much has changed and yet, how very much has stayed the same.  Today (along with Mr. Biff) I was putting the bedroom together (pictures soon as there is still some work to do on lamps and pictures) - anyway, I had purchased some plates over the past few years and thought I would display them in the bedroom above the bed as there isn't much wall space for hanging stuff (wow I do digress) - anyway again....I had left the price tags on the backs of the plates and the average price I paid was 79 cents.  Now I think of my Mum or more likely my Nan having a whole set of these plates - maybe a wedding gift or part of her trusseau.  What sometimes is mistaken for junk could once have been someone's coveted treasure.  I guess that's why I like to rescue the little odds and ends that gather on the top shelves or at the back of the plate bins at the thrift stores.  Who knows what those little pieces of treasure have seen in their little ceramic lives? 

Re-reading my post above I realize I sound more than a little ditzy over plates - but that's ok - it's Tuesday and I'm still on vacation and I am a little tired but oh so happy.....(as I am sure are my little plates in their new places of honour.)  I will go to bed dreaming of yellow slingbacks and pretty rose covered plates......

Until tomorrow, God Bless,

Monday, 27 June 2011

Smooshie Vision....

Yup, I swear it is really a way of looking at things - in fact, I guarantee that once you perfect the art of smooshie vision - you will employ it time and time again!  I've long been a crafter and long believed that as the person who created something I am the harshest critic (do you see where I am going with this?)  I once made a wreath on request from a woman I worked with - when dried flower wreaths were the "must have" home accessory - anyway, she wanted it this way and wanted it that way and didn't like this colour and didn't like the way I had done this, etc.  I learned two valuable lessons out of that horrid experience (I ended up keeping the wreath myself!)  (1) never allow someone to tell you "how" you should be creative - creativity is the spontaneous knowing or feeling of something you made or are doing is just right and (2) always look at your own work with (wait for it) "smooshie vision"....that's where you blur your vision ever so slightly and it will always look fabulous!  Now that might sound self-patronizing but truly it's liberating.  Have you ever walked into someone's house and thought OMG - if my house could be this beautiful!!  and you comment and they say, yeah but...I don't like the colour of granite on my counters or my window treatments aren't quite right - and when you take a closer look you see - she's right - it isn't perfect but it worked because you used your natural "smooshie vision" that we ALWAYS use when looking at anything that was not designed or made by imagine turning that lens on to yourself and your stuff.....phew, do you feel better now?  Remember where you heard it!

Using smooshie eyes, however,  does not mean you can be sloppy with your work - it simply means you can relax and be less critical of self and enjoy the creative journey.  Hopefully I've passed on a valuable crafter lesson today (oh what a sage I am...)

The only crafty thing I did today was use my $5 coupon at the local thrift store - I was looking for a basket to fit in the slot of the little free desk I got the other day - didn't find a basket but got a couple of cool tin wall boxes, a little tray, a frame, a rose plate and a little crocheted doily (I love that the store gives you a free piece of vintage linen with every purchase!)  Oh, and I did paint three candlesticks for my bedroom - it's going to get finished this week, it's going to get finished this week, it's going to get finished this week...oops, repeating myself - I just want to be sure I heard the words "this week"....

So Ciao Bellas, be crafty and be good!
God Bless,

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Garage Sale Saturday!

Well let me tell you a wonderful story about garage Mr. Biff and I headed out around 0830 - can you believe it?  We followed the signs and found some really cool things!  We set ourselves an absolute upward limit of $20 today - you won't believe what we got.  I must say that Mr. Biff is a spectacular barterer....he is intent on getting ready for our little business venture and doesn't let emotion stand in his way! Not only did we get some great bargains but, yes, you guessed it - we found a couple of "chuck outs" (truly one was more like an up-chuck)...but we got a solid wood double bed headboard, footboard and rails at one place and a cute little school desk at another. 

The little birds above are, without a doubt my favourite find today at 25 cents...they are too cute!  The little step stool just needs a little cleaning and it's perfect at $1.  The white desk was free.  Everything you see in the 3rd pic was $10 combined (that's Mr. Biff at work)....lampshades, little shabby chic shelf, silk cushion, seahorse hook, 3 chunky candlesticks, 2 large matted pictures (I wanted the frames) and a beautiful wreath still in the box. 

The top photo shows all the amazing finds the other $10 bought - the step stool, the two silver plates, 5 brand new bottles of craft paint, 10 yards of piping, an enamel jug, some netting (for my earring holders), a wooden bowl, a bag full of cute little handmade gift bags and a bag full of furniture knobs.  Also included in that sweep was a vintage chinese checkers board, a vintage pillow, and 2 square foam pillows with ugly covers but great form!!

You will have to watch over the coming weeks to see what we do with all these treasures.  We are planning a tea/garden party in early August to showcase our furniture and knick knacks.....more to come.

In the meantime - here is the top part of the pantry I was working on a couple of weeks ago - remember the bottom is an old tv stand/entertainment unit and the top is a repurposed changing table....see what paint and a little imagination can do?

Please ignore the stacked up pillows next to the cabinet - its been raining and all the deck cushions have to go somewhere!

Until tomorrow...
God Bless,

Friday, 24 June 2011

Vacation Time!

I can't believe its been a whole week without posting anything here - its been crazy busy!  I have wrapped up some projects and started some others.  This evening I finished my very own version of "plaque attack" and used some graphics from the Graphics Fairy that I got here.  They didn't turn out too badly.  I also decided, while Mr. Biff was at a meeting and dinner was simmering on the stove, (don't I sound like a marvelous multi-tasker?...hee,hee if you only knew) anyway, I also decided to try my hand at covering a lampshade since Amanda at Beloved Rubbish made it look so easy.  It wasn't too difficult but I will definitely need to do a few more before I could consider giving them away or selling them.  I will post pics of the plaques and the lampshade tomorrow.  I've got this great candlestick wooden lamp to paint white and plunk my newly made lampshade on - I think I will keep it.

Vacation for the week is going to be spent working on projects and redoing a few rooms in the little rental house.  Need to refresh our style and make some room - too much clutter!  I will try to remember to take some befores and afters.  I also really want to make some jewelry - I got some great new crystals that are just begging to dangle from someone's ear!  I also have a few frames to make some earring holders - my good friend Sherri sent me a picture tongiht of the one I made for her loaded with her amazing earring collection - this gal is stylin' big time! 

It was a very simple thrift store frame ($1) painted black with bronze netting stapled onto the back.  I like the netting as it gives an almost transparent (like the earrings are hanging on nothing) illusion.

I hope you will follow along with me this week - Mr. Biff's camera turned up and is working so I have many photos to share!  Tomorrow is Saturday and what is Saturday - Garage Sale Day!   Whahoo, hope you have a good night and see you tomorrow out in the neighbourhood,

Monday, 20 June 2011

Something New for Me and Maybe You?

In this blogging journey I am stumbling upon many great links and ideas - here's one I think is worth checking out - for fellow bloggers or aspiring bloggers - sign up for free blog giveaways at Giveaway Blogs Network!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Mr. Biff & the Fire Sale....

Saturday flew by with no time to stop and chat.  We did, however get a ton of work done including finishing the little pantry project.  You will have to wait to see the final version because my camera is on the fritz and Mr. B's is no where to be found.  We spent the weekend doing projects, planning projects and collecting more projects!  We also managed to fit in all 12 episodes (starting on Thursday night) of "The Killing" - what a great series.  Each show ends with a little trailer saying it's such a good show you will be angry when each one ends because you have to wait for the next one and after a couple of episodes I realized it was TRUE!  Now that's good programming!  As usual watched it online in between doing this and that. 

It rained here yesterday morning so no garage sales.  We did, however, stumble over one today and got a couple of cool things (we had to pool our change!:)  Mr. Biff got the big score however - he purchased a fireplace mantel in new condition - the entire surround for.....wait for it......$7 bucks!!  Yup, that's my bargooner....I can't take a picture but it looks kind of like this:

minus the firebox.  I can see it all distressed in white with a bevy of candles burning brightly.  Now the thing is will I want to sell it when we are done?  Somehow I am thinking um, NO!  However shortage of space may dictate that I do. 

Back to the pantry for a moment - I just want to highlight again that the bottom piece was made of a repurposed tv stand and the top is/was a baby change table turned upside down to sit on top like a hutch.  It looks good but more importantly it's so functional.  Our little rental doesn't have much cupboard space and this beauty will hold all of our canned goods, pasta, etc. in one lovely place.  (I'm diggin' it).

Sunday's is also the big bang day around our house (get your mind outta the gutter baby!)....Mr. Biff lights the noon cannon in the harbour every Sunday - dressed in his 1890's costume - he plays the part of a fur trader defending the port. 

When I picked him up today after the big bang we decided to go for a drive and see if there were any curb finds left over from garage sales that got rained out.  Mr. Biff declared that "chuck-outs" are like happiness - when you are looking for it - it's never there but stop looking and presto - there it is!  Moral of the story - no curb finds to be found when you are searching - you must stumble upon them to truly achieve curb treasure bliss.....

Hope you all had a great weekend!  Just a few more days and I am off for a week of git'er done project heaven....
God Bless,

Friday, 17 June 2011

Fabulous Friday...

Can you think of a better way to spend a day off than having your hair done and then tripping around town looking for "oops" paint?  Seriously for some the hair part probably sounds delightful - the rest, hmmm, not so much.  But to me - this was a fabulous Friday!  Got plenty of paint and ready to paint the rest of that pantry cabinet I started (the bottom is done).  Got some really great fabric - on the way home someone was holding *weird on a Friday night* a garage sale - got a bundle of fabric - burlap, linen and some really great vintage print cotton.  We also got the best thing I have purchased yet - for $10 we got this piece of Eastlake (Jacques Hayes) furniture - it's hard to describe but will be turned into a really stunning hall coat/hat wall piece.  I will take a picture of it tomorrow (I have to use Mr. Biff's camera because mine is still being tempermental....focus I say!)  It was an amazing find - here's a pic from the web of a piece of Eastlake - you will see from this how lucky I was to get this.  Got it at the Friends of Haven Thrift Store. 
Now think darker, dirtier and missing a few parts - Mr. Biff (he is the history major after all) believes it came from a piano top or organ.  Wherever it came from it captured my heart - I am smitten and can't wait to bring it back to life.  This is when it is handy to have  Mr. Biff in your life - art major, museum curator, archeologist and teacher - hey now that I think about it - maybe that's why he knows so much stuff! 

I also got a cute little bench seat for $2 that will require some care and some more linens....can't have too many pretty pillow cases I always say (ok, I don't always but I do now!).....

Hope whatever you did this fine Friday that it was fun! Oh and yes, my hair turned out rather well (thank you Lesley at Maffeo's).  All things considered it really was a Fab Friday!

God Bless,

Thursday, 16 June 2011

French Shipping Crate Inspired Coffee Table....hmmmm

I hope I have picqued your interest with the title....I am hoping to do justice to this lovely table inspired by another fellow-blogger who showed, step-by-step, how she achieved this result.  I am going to link you to her site so you can see the beautiful result.  Here is the table I purchased on Craigslist tonight for $30 - I have been watching for something like this since I saw this design.

Here is what I am hoping to accomplish - you can see the steps taken to get the result here.

This table is made by Korrie - her own blog can be viewed here....Korrie, Korrie, Korrie - what have you started!  Reading the comments on your guestblog spot at Remodelaholic you've started quite a trend!  Check back to see if I did Korrie proud!

Here's another cool idea that Heidi from "Honey Bear Lane" posted as a result of seeing this fab table have a look at thefabulous ottoman she created  here.

I sure hope I am inspiring you to think about the things you have at home (hi Brigitte!) and what you could do with them and how you could change the whole look of your rooms with a little paint and ingenuity.  I am going to try to redo my whole living room in a totally new colour scheme.  I've been working the earthy sages and rustic reds for a long time now and need a shot of something different so out with the old and in with the new, er older!  I want to do it entirely with recycled furniture - nothing off the showroom floor.  Let's see how that works out (and how happy Mr. Biff is with the idea of a colour change....hmmm....)

A three day weekend....lots to do....check back tomorrow to see if I got anything done!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Don't know when I've felt so blue....don't know what's come over you....oh, wait, yes I do - the Canucks lost to Boston 4-0 for the Stanley Cup!  Congrats to Boston and Tim Thomas for his Con Smythe award.  But that's enough already about hockey!!

AS I mentioned last night I decided to take some 49 cent coasters I picked up at the Ladysmith Thrift Store and turn them into something more appealing.  I decoupaged them with handmade paper (I didn't make it - I got it at the favourite store!) and then I printed some bird silhouettes from the internet and life in old coasters!  I think they need something else?  Maybe some stain?  For sure they need a good coat of spray varathane to waterproof them before use.  Anyway - here's the before and after and I am going to have to apologize for the crappy photos because my beautiful camera is dying a slow, painful death and doesn't want to focus on much these days....

So 49 cents a little paper and ink...probably $1 total for their new look....what do you think?

Next up - I am going to fix up this cute little easel - I have some ideas of how to revive it.  I am either going to use it to display my jewelry when I go to markets or I will make it "pretty" for one of my little great-nieces.  Either way - it will be a fun project to tackle.  Stay tuned for the afters on this one.

As always, God Bless and GET BUSY!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Just a Baby-Blogger.....

Oh, I don't mean I am blogging about babies!  I am just a neophyte blogger - trying to find my way around "Blogland".  Someone asked me today - how do you have time to do stuff and then blog about it?  For me it's really simple - I don't have cable or satellite tv any more (not for over a year now) and find the time I would spend mindlessly (altho I do miss it still on occasion) watching tv - I now spend looking for creative endeavours.  Don't get me wrong - I do like to watch tv and I still catch my favourite shows on the web - however I am less tied to a schedule of "this is on at 8 and this is on at 9 so I have to finish this up so I can sit and watch"....

I will join the hordes of British Columbians (and maybe all of Canada!) who will cheer on the Canucks at the big game "7" of the Stanley Cup finals in Vancouver tomorrow night.  I am a fan but secretly fear that when I watch they are somehow destined to lose (wow - I must think I am mighty powerful no?).  I grew up on hockey in the winter and football in the summer (not playing but watching).  I kind of gave it up somewhere in my 20's and have never really gravitated back - I do however like to cheer the home team and that's what you will find me doing tomorrow night.  Tonight, however, I am going to take apart a lampshade and get it ready to re-cover and I am going to tackle a tiny project I have to make some little coasters out of recycled (ugly) coasters......maybe if I "git'er done" I will post a pic tomorrow.

Must leave this final thought tonight....
"Go Canucks Go"
God Bless,

Monday, 13 June 2011

Blingy Thingys

It's late, I am tired I must admit but I just wanted to quickly add a couple of my blingy-things to the site.  I love the DIY stuff of transforming curb finds, Craigslist and other furniture/accessory pieces to treasure but I also LOVE my jewels.  I have been making jewelry for over 20 years.  I mostly wear only my own jewelry with the odd piece from a jewelry making friend or 2.  Here's a couple of pieces just to pique your interest.  I will, in future post a "for sale" section and include some of my bling there!  Hope you enjoy and Happy Monday!
God Bless,
These were 7 custom ordered bracelets for a group fo women who were sailing around the British Virgin Islands.  They took this photo on Richard Branson's private beach!

 My favourite "jewels" to work with are reclaimed vintage beads - the amber beads above are from a necklace that my aunt had back in the 40's.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Sunday Bliss

There's nothing I like better in the whole world than to stay home on a Sunday and putter.  Today, high on my putter list was the little cabinet we picked up from Kajiji about 2 weeks ago.  It is intended to become the bottom part of a pantry cupboard - born of necessity as our little rental house kitchen is very small without much storage.  The cabinet was originally intended to be a tv cabinet.  I did my best to disguise it with 2 coats of Rustoleum's Herbal Green.  I lightly sanded and then added a rub of burnt umber craft acrylic.  Once that all dried I sprayed a light coat of clear varathane to help with wear.  This is the bottom half only.....stay tuned for the top!

I think this turned out rather well....I will show you what it looks like with the "hutch" on top once I get that painted and sorted out as well.  I even had time today to finish painting the free headboard we picked up last night - it wasn't bad as it was -however it didn't fit the vision I have for our bedroom.  I will take some before and after pics of our bedroom (Mr. Biff wants me to clean it up first!!) to show you what you can do with free and or inexpensive furniture....

The headboard took two cans of Ivory White Rustoleum Spray - again I rubbed the finished product with some burnt umber acrylic craft paint and sealed it all with clear semi-gloss finish.  I can't wait to see it in place - hope to get to tackle the bedroom next weekend!  Need to make some drapes as the window is the backdrop for the headboard (you will understand when you see how tiny the room is!)

Overall a great day today with Marcie cheering me on from her perch on one of the old swing pillows (another project from another day which I will post here this week.)

So much more to show & tell but I will save some for later this week.  Hope your weekend was even half as good as mine - it was fantastic!  Thanks as always to Mr. Biff who not only provides his great skill to these projects but also provides the much appreciated lifting ability to get everything from point A to point B!  Love ya Hon! 

Until later....God Bless you and yours! 

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Taking home treasures from a "chuck-out"

With my morning coffee I was watching HGTV's Sophie Allsop turning her beautiful English manor into a dream home using mostly found objects, furniture and vintage linens.  What we would call "dumpster diving" Sophie calls "skiffing" or checking out the skiff - which seems to be the name of the giant garbage bin?  Cute huh?  At one point she was driving along and saw someone cleaning out their garage - she pulled up and asked "are you having a chuck-out" - which yes, indeed he was!  She scored some fun things (one man's junk - another's treasure!)

So why am I telling you this?  We were driving downtown this evening to pick up our free Craigslist headboard - actually for ourselves (what a novel idea!) and we passed a pile of what looked to be discarded items at the curb.  Mr. Biff proclaimed that this must be a "chuck-out" and we should stop!  Stop we did and got the cutest little girl's cabinet will need to watch here to see what I can do to make it a show-stopper.

Tired from a long day's time for this happy blogger to head to bed to read.....with a big smoocherooni for Mr. Biff for being so accommodating!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Setting Out....

I won't pretend even for a moment that I am anything other than a normal,  regular,average, ok - not quite normal (it's only a cycle on the dryer afterall) and there's nothing really "regular" about me....average..ok - maybe!  What I really want to share and blog about is starting out on this new venture of making "classy trash"....let's see where it all goes...hope you will follow along!