Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Harvest Table Makeover

Hello again! We've been very busy with our 'rustic farmhouse' restoration. In the meantime, every day LIFE and the TO-DO LIST still need attention. A few of us took turns sanding our pine harvest table top. Those pine boards were given to us by my Father in law and are well over 100 years old. About 10 years ago we had a table made from them, the boards were 8 feet long but we had to shave off a couple inches to square them up. And before anyone cringes at the thought of all that patina being sanded off, it really did need it! It had YEARS worth of slopping, drooling, eating, drinking, colouring (with permanent markers), being used as a catch all, spilling glue & glitter, grapejuice....you name it!

 And no all that stuff couldn't just be washed off, it also had a layer of stain and varnish worn off in some spots and not in others. It's like going to the hair dressers and saying "I only want a half inch cut off" and she replies "Yes I understand that ma'am, but you NEED about 3 inches cut off to remove all these dead ends!" and I may or may not be speaking from personal experience. I did't want to sand it completely flat, it has always had dings and chips and cracks and holes which gives it character and I don't want to remove that BUT I do want to give it a new look. A makeover.
Right now it is raw with a little stain and varnish and unrecognizable things left in the cracks and dents, the low spots. So I need to find a product that will get in there and gently wash it away. I will then need to FINISH it! I recently made facebook and instagram posts regarding this and I have had many suggestions and I am leaning towards WAX as it is more natural and let's face it one of the oldest ways of protecting furniture! I have seen some great photos on pinterest of tables coated with lime wax which adds some white in the crevices. I see that there are also colored waxes as well, which only confuses me more. I am also concerned about water marks being left behind.  Maybe some newer waxes don't leave water marks??
 Here is a photo of the table with it's warmer finish. OH! I just love this photo by Robin Stubbert for Prairie Style magazine. Oh what great memories on that farm! We are still living in the country on a parcel of land just shy of an acre. Just enough for the kids, dogs and eventually chickens to run around and I have plans for another nice garden and fire pit! Can't wait to make more great memories at our new place! I would LOVE to hear about your personal experience  with table top finishes and always open to suggestions! Thanks!
~Mel

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Our feature in PRAIRIE STYLE Summer 2016!


 Hello Friends!

As you may remember we did a photo shoot a while back of our old farmhouse & orchard. The exterior shots will be featured in the upcoming issue of Country Sampler's Prairie Style Summer 2016! It was so fun working with Interiors & Lifestyle photographer Robin Stubbert again, I love seeing her work her magic! It's amazing the way she can capture a moment. When taking photos inside you can create lighting if need be but when working outside however, it's a race against time! I knew Robin had limited time to get some specific shots as the sun seemed to be going down quickly and I was in a panic! I remember trying desperately to get ALL of my family to do what they needed to do for the camera and of course when I had 5 of them doing it the 6th person wouldn't be, or someone would be missing all together and have gone back into the house! KIDS!! Oh it was a crazy night! Total chaos! Lots of fun though looking back! LOL       

                                                  link to Robin's website Robin Stubbert

                                          
I had made caramel & pecan apples and they kept melting and I was so upset that they seemed so sloppy! I wanted the perfect candy apple! Once I saw the photos though I realized how perfectly imperfect they were just they way they should be because this was really just another little glimpse into my world and everyone knows that's just how I roll in the kitchen! At the end of the evening, when it was all said and done we were really happy with what was accomplished in such a short period of time. We just sat at our table and smiled. It was late into the evening and we realized we were starving! We already had the fire going so my husband threw some chicken on the grill. They got a little charred but we ate it anyway! My family is used to (my) char but poor Robin!  It was the first time she had ever experienced anything like that, the combination of working with such time restrictions and all that chaos of such a large family.

In the end some amazing exterior (and interior!) shots were taken and I am forever grateful for such keepsakes and memories. Thanks so much to Robin for her amazing photography and also to the fabulous Fifi O'Neill for choosing to feature photos of my home & family not once but TWICE in Prairie Style magazine issues. Interior shots from this shoot will hopefully find a home soon and when they do I will be sure to let you know!
~Mel
 
Visit Fifi Fifi
 
Order your early copy today!  Prairie Style Summer 2016


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Fresh Air & Sunshine


























I am just loving this time of year. I find it really inspiring. It's not too hot or humid yet, but the sun is shining and there is just the right amount of warmth. I love spending time outdoors, as I look around I am noticing so much beauty. The bees are buzzing around as they do their jobs.  The mama birds are sitting in their nests, blooming flowers are in freshly manicured beds (ah except mine but I'm working on it!) And of course my favorite LILACS are out! The smell of fresh cut grass & spring blooms is in the air! The air just seems so FRESH! I opened the windows to let some of that IN and I opened up all the curtains to brighten up the interior spaces. I took duvets and pillows out for a good fluffing! The asparagus is ready and the local fruit & veggie stands are starting to get busy. And of course I'm finding super cute outfits & shoes for the girls and get to see their cute painted toes! Ahhhhhh it's a wonderful time of the year! I hope you've been able to enjoy the weather too!
~Mel

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

UPCOMING Prairie Style feature!





Well I'm pretty sure most of you know by now that the fabulous FIFI O'NEILL is the single most accomplished editor, international photo stylist, blogger and best selling author known for PRAIRIE STYLE.  PRAIRIE STYLE is more a state of mind than décor itself. It's a combination of a making-do attitude, creating something unique from scratch, using natural textures, a softer side of rustic and rugged. It's a redefined country look.  For your pleasure here is a link to Fifi's website  FIFI                               
 Since I was about 19, I have been an avid magazine hoarder collector/purchaser. I've pretty much been obsessed with magazines that featured 'farmhouse/cottage style homes'.  I found such beauty in the relaxed look and dreamed of one day having my own home featured as well. I will be forever grateful to Fifi for choosing to feature our previous farmhouse in the Special Issue that came out May 2014 of PRAIRIE STYLE MAGAZINE. It was definitely a dream come true! It was an amazing experience working with photographer Robin Stubbert & stylist Kim Davies. Robin is an Interiors & Lifestyle Photographer, Magazine Contributor. You can see many of Robin's amazing photos here ROBIN . Kim is an antiques shop owner & stylist. To learn more about Kim visit her here KIM .  (photos above & below were in that special issue)


 A lot of things have changed in the last (ahem) 20+ years, we can easily access beautiful photography at the touch of a button right on our computer screens and cell phones. BUT some things have NOT changed. For me, these images certainly do NOT replace finding a quiet spot, sitting in a comfy chair, flipping through a magazine, reading great articles about the home owners while sipping on a hot tea. Am I RIGHT? or am I RIGHT!!      To order issues of Prairie Style or other Country Sampler magazines click HERE                                                         


In the FALL of 2014 Robin worked her magic once again to produce some more beautiful photos of both interior and exterior shots of the farmhouse & orchard.  It is unknown to me at this time where or when the interior shots of that shoot will be featured but I am proud to say that the EXTERIOR shots from that FALL SHOOT will be featured in the upcoming AUGUST issue of PRAIRIE STYLE MAGAZINE! The above photo is just a peek at one of the photos! 

We had a lot of fun with this exterior shoot even though it was a little hectic as lighting is always an issue. It is so nice to be able to have these beautiful keepsake photos. Special memories.

Also! a little birdy told me that Fifi just might have listed ME on the magazine masthead under contributors for styling!! WHAAAAAT!?

I don't know about you, but I sure can't wait to see my home in print once again!

~Mel
 
 
 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Simple things







I just put together some photos of beautifully simple things
and made a really simple post! ;)

ENJOY!
~Mel

Friday, 25 March 2016

First Signs of Spring

For me, the first 2 tell-tale signs of spring are oh so pretty colorful spring flowers and of course, rubber boots!
All those vibrant colors are sure a sight for sore eyes!
Oooh a lovely dose of purple YES PLEASE!
After those dreary winter months it is so refreshing to bring some LIFE & COLOR it into our homes.

I most recently found 4 white slipcovered HENRIKSDAL chairs from IKEA on kijiji for $15. ea ($60 total)
I knew it was a deal but when I checked the website and saw that they are 89.99 plus 13% tax ($101.68 ea or $406.75 total)
I WAS ELATED!!!!!
A savings of $346.75 because I chose to buy used.
They were very gently used in fact the girl told me they came with the house she just purchased and they were used for staging while the house was for sale. basically brand new! YIPPEEEEE!!!
So I will attempt some linen slipcovers in the future.
Even though it looks clean and crisp to just have the original white covers,
I threw a couple german grain sacks overtop for WOW factor. (and it will help keep the kids from mucking them up!)
LOVE IT!


I also recently purchased another gorgeous antique french linen sheet from etsy.
I LOVE the ecru natural coloring!
again....LOVE IT!
Who doesn't love antique textiles?? YUMMY!
 Yesterday my husband and I stopped in at an amazing antique shop in Hamilton, Ontario called Tattered &Torn owned by my friend Kim Davies. (who was the stylist for my Prairie Style magazine feature!) I purchased 2 wonderfully aged ironstone platters, 2 fabulous blue striped grainsacks, 2 french soaps and this SPRING copy of Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine. Kim hosts the A Day In The Country Show & Sale at her place in Caledonia in May & November. GOOD JUNQUE!!  check out her site HERE
and YES....I know I came late to the game but I FINALLY got myself a pair of HUNTER rubber boots!
I originally bought the new soft top version but I just didn't 'test drive' them enough in the store and once I wore them around the house for a while before leaving for town the next morning I realized they buckled and hurt the back of my leg so I went back and exchanged for a smaller size and had to go with this style which is certainly fine with me! THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE!

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