Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Trying Something New

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Family Day here in Canada, which meant a day off work...Yay!  A few days before Lovely Man had come home from an out of town trip and announced that he heard there was a free Dog Sledding event being held at our local National Park.  So we trawled the papers and the internet to see exactly when and where and established it was to take place a Pukaskwa National Park, just 80km away and it started at 1pm...first come first served!

And so it was that on a non working day, a public holiday, when normal people laid snug in their beds until as late as ten o'clock we were up at 7 a.m.  By 9 a.m. we were in the car, with snow shoes, drinks, coats, hats and mittens.  The sun was shining and we arrived at the park gate at 10.30 to be greeted by a giant dancing beaver!  Yes, Lovely Man was going to ensure we got this ride no doubt about it.  So we hung around, ate some moose stew and dumpling, had a short hike on the snow shoe trail and at 12 noon he decided we really should get to the front of the line up for the sled ride.

So at 12.05 we arrived at the meeting point only to find there were some 30 people already there!  And there we stood....for THREE hours!  Oh yes!  It appeared that these 30 people were just keeping a place for several family members as we watched as numerous children and adults just wandered up to the front and walked straight in!  I admit there were times when I considered quitting but one look at Lovely Man gazing wistfully at the dogs and the sleds quickly squashed any thoughts of leaving my spot!  Anyhow, as the sun started to go down behind the trees and it started to get chilly we finally got to the front of the queue.  At last we got our ride!  Oh My Gosh!  I am SO glad we didn't give up...amazing!  I think the photos just say it all!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Taking A Break

Ok, so day three (yesterday)  I was struggling...only four doors and three drawer fronts stripped, 8 more doors to go!  My arms were tired and I was fed up with the smell of hot paint!  So I decided to give paint stripper a go.  I used paint stripper in the UK and to be honest it was pretty useless I thought but maybe, just maybe,  Canadian paint stripper would work. didn't.  Or rather it did on the top layer of latex paint but it turns out what I thought was a simple primer/undercoat was in fact Melamine Paint!  The stripper actually made it ten times worse to get off!  Disillusioned I decided to take the day off today and do something nice.

Ta da!
I got this idea on Pinterest, originally crafted by Destiny from A Place For Us. Destiny's are a little more dressy than mine as you will see if you visit her blog, but living in a small Northern Ontario town miles (Like 450 km) from the nearest proper shops you can't be too choosey!  I had two oval signs in stock that I picked up at Dollerama last time I was there (450 km away!) and my local Home Hardware store had just two of these hangers but they were white.  So I now have a can of black spray paint in stock also!  I had some Waterslide Decals ( Thank You Carol, from The Polkadot Closet) so I found a fancy font in Photoshop, downloaded some nice graphics from The Graphics Fairy and hey presto!

AND...I found this in a thrift store...actually I found two AND they were just $2 each!
They are beautifully hand crafted although I am not a pine person...I feel they are a little dated.  Soooo I am now in the process of sanding them down and prepping for a little white paint and a little distressing... a pretty graphic on the mirror, another waterslide decal, and they will be in the bedroom I think!

Last of all I went to the post office today and my lovely stencils from Cutting Edge Stencils had arrived.  I won these courtesy of Alderberry Hill and can't wait for Lovely Man to finish the dining room wall so I can put the to good use!  So all in all not such a bad day afterall!

Linking Up with:

Monday, 13 February 2012

Making a Start

Last week I was interested to read a post about Analysis Paralysis over at The Yellow Cape Cod, and I realised at last what it is that I suffer from!  It has a name!  Oh thank goodness!  I also made a new friend on Facebook, who just happens to live down the road (98k away but 'down the road' nonetheless).  She remarked to me that we sounded like kindred spirits except she spent a lot of time looking, planning, gathering ideas but a lot less time doing!  This confirmed the diagnosis for me because I realised that is what I do too. I spend hours on blogs and pinterest gazing a beautiful things and planning to do them some day and then I give myself a hard time because I get hardly any of them done!  Well no more let me tell you. 

So before I forget with all this chatter, here are the before photo's of my kitchen:

Now please try to look past the lack of cabinet doors, you see I set Lovely Man to task with his screw driver before taking the pictures!  But try to imagine Battleship Gray painted cabinet doors!  As you can see the kitchen is pretty small and there really isn't a lot I can do about that...but with a budget of approximately zero $'s I plan to decorate fearlessly, and cheaply, in the hope that until I win the 649 lottery I will be happy in this wee space.

Plan one is to paint all the doors white.  So many people seem to be doing this lately and it really does make a huge difference.  So far I have managed to strip three drawer fronts and two cabinet doors...only eleven more to go :/

Next I plan to replace the table and chairs with 4 white press back chairs (I grabbed 4 of these for just $10 at a yard sale when I arrived in Canada two years ago, they just need painting white) and a nice round table when I can find one to refinish.  Check out Liz Marie's Lovely Table and Chairs to see where I am going with that!

Lovely Man, who also spends hours watching the Property Brothers and Love It or List It, has joined me and gone all 'designer' and is going to swap the cooker and the fridge over which will hopefully open up the kitchen a little, and hopefully if we can get a piece of counter top to match the existing one we will extend the counter top where the butcher block is.  And finally, later in the year when finances allow we hope to put a dark wood floor in here and right through the main floor of the house.  Neat Eh?
So watch this space...and if you see no movement please give me a poke!
Again thank you to Liz for the inspiration and permission to nab her photo!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My Happy Place

Yesterday I was looking through some photo's that we took at the weekend and this one really lifted my spirits.  Our life of late hasn't been without it's ups and downs, stresses and strains.  We have been hurt and disappointed with some personal and family issues and, for a while, these took their toll and they still do if I allow myself to dwell.  However, I looked at this picture and some others we took and I suddenly felt very grateful and lucky.  There are those who don't agree with how we choose to live our lives, and those who refuse to try and understand.  They can be hurtful.  But equally there are those who love us for who we are, and accept us, they understand and support us. They do not look at what we can give them, they especially don't expect us to give them what we don't have.  For these people in our lives I am grateful.  I am also now at peace with where we are, happy that we made the right choice and more determined to enjoy it all.  And with this right at your backyard gate...well who wouldn't count themselves lucky?

I love this little Northern Ontario Township!