Kitchen Renovation & Learning New Stuff

Hello All – hope you had a good weekend. We’ve had nothing but beautiful sunshine and hot weather, and so, on Saturday, we took some time off from the huge task of cleaning up our half acre yard, and went to a little fishing village down the road from us called Steveston. Steveston is mainly a tourist attraction, but it’s also a great place to buy cheap fish and shellfish right off the boats, freshly caught the night before.

We bought some enormous prawns for our supper

And you can have lunch at one of the restaurants along the boardwalk

And watch the ducks swim by

It’s a quaint little village full of second-hand furniture stores, a craft shop where I buy my fabric paint, coffee shops, ice-cream shops, fishing supply stores and many more. My favourite shop is the garden centre. Not only does it sell wonderful flowers and trees, but it’s also full of all kinds of unique things for your home – things you don’t really find anywhere else.

And so we bought an ice-cream and some mini dougnuts and wandered around to our hearts content. 

In the evening, we cooked the prawns we’d bought at the docks and had ourselves a well-deserved glass of wine! Or two 🙂

The next day we were back in our yard. It took Mr. LoveThat two hours to cut the grass – it had grown so much since he’d last done it two weeks ago, but now it’s manageable. I have all sorts of seedlings coming up in the various garden beds. I’m ashamed to say that I have no idea what any of it is. I say ashamed, because my mother was a very keen gardener and had a beautiful garden. Unfortunately, I did not inherit her green thumb. It looks like little yellow daisies are coming up in one bed and romaine lettuce in another, but time will tell.

Lots of other flowers coming into full bloom

And it seems we have a mole in our back yard!

I didn’t do much in the way of new linen for my business. Some place mats

I was asked by an Etsy customer for a custom order. She wanted four of these tea towels without the graphics in the middle

And is going to use them to create a valance in her kitchen! I asked her send me a photo of the finished product, as it sounded quite pretty.

In the sample above, I had painted the stripes by hand, but it took about an hour, so I went on line (I LOVE the internet) and learned all about painting stripes using frog tape and a little foam roller – much quicker and way cleaner lines. I love that I am always learning new stuff and new ways of doing things.

While I was waiting for her to confirm where she wanted the stripes, I started cleaning off the paint on the kitchen drawers – here’s the before photo

And this it what I found

I don’t think these are the original handles – they look more like 60’s or 70’s, but I quite like them. And then, to my delight, I noticed that there was a little handle on the pull-out cutting board built into the cabinets

After I’d scraped the paint off the screws, I actually managed to take it off and clean it up, and came up with this

This is definitely the original handle from 1945 and it looks like it’s made of copper as there was some patina on the back where water had got in. There are also two hinges on the cabinet doors like this, but they look like they’re not going to come off. I’ll keep trying.

So, while I was in the mood, I stripped off the ugly wallpaper boarder

It makes such a difference and brightens up the kitchen a lot. I wanted to paint some lettering in that space, but whoever painted the kitchen yellow, didn’t prime it properly and all the paint is peeling off! So, of course this means that I have to take off the paint and re-paint. A job for another day.

With all the blueberries we have, I’ve been making muffins like mad, but also made this blueberry, lemon tea loaf. This is the finished product at 6:30 pm one evening last week

  And this is what was left of it an hour later – and I hadn’t even had any yet!

I did finish it off later that even with a lovely cup of tea!

That’s all I have. See you next week and leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you.

Cheers for now



Napkins, Tea Towels and … Bees!

Hi all! Hope you had a great weekend and are well refreshed and ready for the week ahead! I know I’m not. I definitely need more of this today.

Not much in the way of home decorating got done last week mainly due to the fact that I had to catch up of re-stocking my Etsy Shop and needed to work on some new stuff since I hadn’t done much of anything of that nature since we moved in! I did manage to get back into the Pilates and then regretted it the next day! Hopefully, my stomach muscles won’t be so sore this week. 

I made some cool napkins for our own use and for my Etsy Shop. These give the feel of being in a French Cafe drinking fluffy coffee (above) and enjoying the delights of eclairs

They inspired me to work on matching place mats today. Also did these, which I loooove – they are so dainty

I was having so much fun, I continued the Paris theme at the top also

Later in the week, I did these tea towels. I found this design on The Graphics Fairy website. It’s vintage line art. I love tea and so couldn’t resist this

And this one, continuing the Cafe theme

And one to remind me to make Margueritas at some point before summer is over

I’ll be sending a set of these and some napkins to my daughter in Edmonton. She just moved into her first home and these will put a smile on her face.

My plans for going to the beach and buying fresh salmon at our local fishing village, Steveston, went out the window after we started cleaning up our yard and house. 

It looked like a morning’s work, but ended up taking most of the weekend. Here’s the ‘before picture

And after

And before

And after

We found all sorts of junk – old bits of wood, car parts and tires older than me!

And several bees nests, one of which my dog and I stood on and paid the price! Oouch! Mr. LoveThat didn’t escape being stung either!

Inside, I moved the old stove to clean under it in readiness for our new stove coming this week. I don’t think it’s been cleaned in … a long time and I eventually had to resort to scrubbing on my hands and knees! Horrors! After that, I moved all the appliances and gave them the same treatment with disinfectant (good old Pine Sol) and had a go at the bathroom floor and especially around and behind the toilet, for good measure. While I was at it, I washed all the kitchen walls which are now a totally different colour. They look like they’ve been freshly painted!

By the time we were done, we were too tired to go anywhere! My idea of ice-cream on the beach will have to wait until this weekend. Is it Friday yet?

We met our new neighbours – a lovely family who built their enormous house back in the 1980’s and have lived there ever since. The last tenants who lived in this house last year did absolutely nothing to the house or the garden, so our neighbours were so happy that we were cleaning up, they offered us a beer and we talked for hours! At one point, I thought the wife was going to kiss Mr. LoveThat she was so happy with him!

We learned that this old house was built in the 1940’s and given to the servicemen returning from the 2nd World War. I can’t find any photos from that era, but when I do, I will post them.

I made dozens of blueberry muffins with the seemingly endless supply of blueberries from our garden

And started peeling off the ugly wallpaper border in the kitchen. I have some ideas for that border, but that can wait until another day.

And, finally, I saw this jug at our local store and couldn’t resist buying it for my flowers 🙂

Isn’t it funny how small things can be so pleasing? It’s my little treat for the week.

So, back to place mats and other table ware. Visit my Etsy Shop, will ya and see if there’s something that would bring some pleasure to you also.

I hope your week is not too stressful and that you can get out and enjoy the beautiful weather at some point.

Until next week …


Making Headway

Hello fellow Blog Readers! It’s been pretty busy around here lately, although not much actual work has been done and my routine is totally blown out of the water. I am having trouble getting back to the Pilates, but with all the other exercise I’ve been getting clearing the weeds and grass from the garden beds and moving stuff around, it’s probably not going to have too much of an adverse impact. I do resolve, though, to start again on Monday. It’s always Monday, isn’t it? Why don’t we ever start things on, say, a Thursday? Or a Tuesday?

Some semblance of order has been restored here


and here

And the living room is almost complete. We were going to buy a badly need new couch on Sunday, but had to use the money to fence our yard in order to keep our dogs on our property. When I first looked at the house, there was a fence already there, but when we moved in, the old tenants had taken it with them  ??? Our foster dog, MJ, wanted to visit the next door neighbours, but when they saw she had pit bull in her somewhere, they thought she was going to eat them instead of make friends and they voiced their concerns. Welcome to the neighbourhood! So, alas, I still have the tatty old futon for at least another 2 or 3 weeks (at least the dog still likes it!). I did manage to paint the ugly old TV stand and so am feeling better about that, at least.

I even managed to find a place for the old Singer treddle sewing machine and, of course, the endless supply of roses from my garden.

And my mother’s coffee set which I love so much. It was given to her and my Dad as a wedding present in 1949 – Suzie Cooper – and I always loved it. She gave it to me when I left Zimbabwe for Canada in 1998. 

Hung the pictures

I had to move the clock to make way for Mr. LoveThat’s favourite bike picture above Floyd’s tank

But I discovered that, not only did it look better in the kitchen, I needed it there more. Behind that door-thingy in the wall is our furnace.

And, of course, Grandma’s rocking chair from about 1960-something.

I tackled the front garden bed last weekend and discovered this

At least the meter man will be able to read the meter now – I don’t know if that’s a good thing! Also, another rose bush looking very sad, so don’t know if it will survive. Next year I will plant a lavender bush in that space.

Also found 3 blueberry bushes laden with fruit

And a whole lot of garlic growing in a corner

So on the whole, things are shaping up quite nicely.

I managed to clear a space in my work room to at least sew and paint. I bought 9 x 12 feet of drop cloth today. It makes beautiful napkins, cushion covers and all sorts of other lovely things and it’s great to paint on. I thought that the hardware store was an unlikely place to buy fabric, but it cost me $24. 2 metres of the same thing in a ‘real’ fabric store would have cost me $20! So I’m feeling rather smug at present and dying to start work again.

There’s more than enough to keep me busy in this old cottage. The doors and kitchen cabinets and drawers have been painted over so many times that none of them close properly anymore. One of the drawers won’t even open!

and that luuurvley wallpaper border has to go! I peeled a bit off around the corner and found yet another wallpaper border underneath. But it peeled off quite easily, so won’t be too hard to do. All the hardware on the cabinets was also painted over. It looks like the original hardware which could be quite nice, so I’ll soak them in some paint stripper and see what happens. Also, the beautiful old door knobs

Honestly, some people just have no pride in their work to just slap paint over everything.

Well, I’m off for some well-earned chocolate ice cream! No, I didn’t get to the Pilates today (being Monday – I started this blog post on Friday). I had to be out of the house quite early in order to get all my errands and grocery shopping done (excuses, excuses), but I will definitely be back at it tomorrow. I didn’t pick a very good day for running errands. The temperature reached about 33 deg. C – not very good for being in and out of a hot car most of the morning. I really would rather have been at the beach, but I plan to work that in to this week. I call it ‘getting inspiration.’ 

Cheers for now and check back here for pictures of my new napkins and a cushion cover idea my daughter gave me.

See ya later!


Hot & Disorganized!

Hello All! My mother’s words still ring in my ears on the day we moved house when I was 12 years old. “Curtains up, beds made.” Which meant, if nothing else got done, there was some semblance of privacy and we could at least go to bed!

And that is exactly what I did when the first load of furniture arrived from our old house.

There’s a dog and a duvet in there somewhere!

It had rained the week leading up to our move and so we had hoped the rain would hold off that day. Well, hold off it did! 32 degrees celcius and rising, sun beating down in a clear, blue, cloudless sky. We were so hot lugging furniture up and down the stairs of our old house, we thought we would melt! If I thought I wasn’t getting enough leg workouts from my Pilates exercises, I sure was getting it that day.

I didn’t realize we had so much stuff until we started loading everything. A lot of stuff ended up either being given away or going to the garbage dump. Everywhere I looked, there was more stuff!

So eventually, hot, tired and aching (even my toes hurt!), we unpacked everything we really needed and put the rest into what is going to be my office/workspace to deal with another day.

Isn’t that a pretty sight? This will be my weekend project.

Unfortunately, my beautiful TV stand that I rescued and repainted, 

wouldn’t fit inside. We even tried hauling it through a window! But in the end we put it in the shed as I couldn’t bear to part with it. So, we resorted to this, which will have to do for now.

Maybe a coat of paint in the near future…

At the end of it all (two days of moving and sorting), we sat down under a shady tree with a glass of wine and counted our blessings. It’s a little old cottage for sure and needs a little TLC, but we love it!

 Here’s the back of the house.

The back yard stretches for quite a way and there’s the remnants of a vegetable garden which we will revive for homegrown food. Our neighbours have chickens – maybe we can trade vegetables for eggs!

The front is a little more interesting but certainly needs some cleaning up and trimming. The beds don’t look like much, but there are flowers and roses in there.

My park bench that I found on the side of the road – a new coat of paint and it will be a great place to sit under the trees on a hot day.

Beautiful roses growing round the side of the house. I picked a few – they added a little colour and order in the middle of the chaos.

And lovely purple clematis growing up a trellis on my front porch – the perfect place for angels!

There will be much decorating going on around this little old house in the weeks and months to come, so come back and see how it’s all progressing!