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


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!

Jane


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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!

Jane



RAIN, NEW STORE & STUFF

Hello all – I know, I know, I’m late with today’s posting. It’s been pretty hectic around here. I’ve been trying to pack for our move this weekend and re-work the Etsy Shop. I didn’t get to do my Pilates this morning as I had to be at my appointment with the small-business government funding lady at 9:00 am. How quickly I forgot about the morning traffic! I’m hoping I don’t have to do that again. The pounding rain didn’t help much either – so much for summer! I shouldn’t complain – at least I’m still driving through the rain and not canoeing like they are in Calgary right now. In the break between rain showers, I noticed all kinds of things blooming in my little garden bed – the roses, the lavender and chamomile. I couldn’t resist picking some of the chamomile – they are just so pretty and dainty.


And when they’re done with brightening up my, er, office, I can make them into tea!

I spent most of the morning yesterday on my Etsy Store. A new banner


What a difference it makes.

And new photos of some of the latest cushions

 

And I used my knew-found marketing knowledge to write lovely descriptions that conjure up images of relaxation, hanging out with friends and family and a general feeling of well-being that comes with having a home filled with things that make us feel comfortable and content. To read my savvy wording, follow the link below to my Etsy Shop.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveThat50

Over my morning coffee at some ridiculous hour this morning, I came across an email from Etsy telling me I had ‘mail.’ And there it was – an enquiry from a potential customer asking if I could paint the ferns (the yellow and gray ones above) in different colours – rust and taupe, olive green and brown.

Well … of course I can do that! I can paint them in pink and purple if you like!

 
I might just avoid that morning commute after all! 🙂
 
My son, David, and my Partner in this little venture, has been working on a web site for a few weeks now. He says it’s almost ready to go live. Very exciting.
 
Back on Earth – my house is now a jumble of boxes and stuff. Everywhere I look there’s more stuff to pack – it seems to be everywhere! How did I accumulate all this stuff and did I use it all? I must have. Mr. LoveThat and I were quite ruthless with the decluttering. Anything we haven’t used in 6 months was tossed. A garbage run will be made at the end of the week to ensure we don’t accidentally move it to our new little cottage. This is the result of our packing frenzy. Kitchen stuff pushed underneath my ‘office’ desk so I don’t walk into it – I’m a bit of a clutz and walk into stuff a lot – I have a stubbed toe that still hurts from a week ago, and bruises in various stages of healing on my shins.
 
 
Living room and dining room (I think)

 
Kitchen cupboards looking pretty bare – don’tcha just looove the 70’s glass?

 
Serving dishes all packed away leaving the shelving empty-looking. This used to be an ugly book case that Mr. LoveThat had crammed an entire library of books onto. They were two deep and a total eyesore.
 
 
 
 I needed more space for dishes, so we took off the top shelf and I painted it and now it holds my serving and casserole dishes. I love re-purposing stuff. It’s so inexpensive and you can make it your own unique piece of furniture.  

 
 
Excuse the mess – did I mention we’re moving? The top shelf became a coffee table as in the pic below. The ‘legs’ are from an extra keyboard stand I acquired from someone back in my musician days. I’m still debating whether to paint them or not. I’m waiting to get my new couch first. The piece in the background was an old dresser that Mr. LoveThat found on the side of the road. A beautiful, solid piece of furniture looking abandoned and dejected. We tied it to the roof of our car and looked pretty much like the Clampetts driving it home! Fortunately, we only had to drive around the corner and got some funny looks from neighbours walking their dogs. I sanded it down and painted it that lovely blue and now it houses my TV stuff. See the 70’s radio on the right complete with 8 track – and it still works! Compliments of Mr. LoveThat’s parents. There was a little door in the middle which I made into a lovely chalkboard. It’s in my Etsy store if you want to have a look at it.
 
 
 
The clock in the picture below used to be a shallow, wooden fruit bowl I found at a thrift store for about $4.50. It was originally from Ikea ($30.00) and I remember seeing it there about a year ago and thinking how nice it would look on my dining-room table! But, alas, my budget didn’t permit and, besides, I really didn’t need another wooden bowl. The lovely swirly wood made it perfect to paint a beach themed clock and I added names of some of the beaches in Vancouver around the edges. It’s for sale in my Etsy store, but if it doesn’t sell in the next few weeks, I know it would look lovely in my new living room. It will give the room a holiday feel for those days when I don’t feel very, erm, holiday-like! A glass of apple wine will certainly put me in the mood. If it does sell – well, I can make another one.
 
 
 
I have plans to repurpose or upcycle most of my outdated furniture over the next few months, so keep checking back here. If the rain ever stops, that is.
 
Take very good care of yourselves this week and I’ll talk to you soon.
 
 
Jane




Time to Move Ahead

So, enough procrastinating! It’s been about 2 weeks and I haven’t really got much accomplished with regards to becoming self-employed. Since I opened my Etsy shop, I’ve sold … nothing! Zero, nada, zilch. This is frustrating and I became discouraged. But, then I received a newsletter from Etsy, as I do every few days, and a sentence caught my eye. It said “quit your day job” and there was a picture of an ordinary-looking lady, much like myself, who had done just that and is a full-time seller on Etsy.

That’s me, by the way. And so, naturally, I wanted to know how she did it, and I followed the link provided. Boy, am I glad I did. It gave me everything I needed to know and more, about internet marketing, taking great photos, figuring out my target market, my niche market, my true fans, how to create a visual story, how to write enticing descriptions, and on and on. I spent a fascinating morning learning all about my camera (I’ve had it for 3 years – who knew it did all that!?) – white balance, ISO, shutter speed. None of this ever meant anything to me until now. I took photos of all sorts of things as practice – mainly my garbage can as that was closest to me in the kitchen where I’m working – pretty, isn’t it



And my kitchen cabinets – very exciting bathed in semi-sunlight. Good to know the first day of summer here started off with rain.


I tried different shutter speeds, one of which I discovered that you have to have a REALLY steady hand – which, clearly, I didn’t have in this photo

But, it’s all part of the learning process and after trying different things on my camera, I found some settings that worked – I think. I will need to set up a “photo shoot” to find out!

So, armed with all this lovely knowledge, I am now off to my Etsy shop to redesign, re-word and generally practice my newly acquired internet marketing skills. It’ll probably take longer than this one afternoon to get it all re-set up, but by Monday it should be a new and improved shop!

But first – a quick clean up of my house which is half packed up at the moment in anticipation of our move. Our new landlord told us we could start moving in next Thursday, which gives us 4 or 5 days to move.

I have been keeping up my Pilates every day and am actually enjoying it! I am no longer a “beginner” and have moved on from doing the modified version of the exercises. This is encouraging and I already have more strength and more energy. I know in the beginning I said I hated exercise, but I’m changing my mind about that now that I can feel the results.

So, until next time – have a great weekend all of you and I’ll see you on Monday (or Tuesday, depending on how my redesigning goes). I also have an appointment with a lady who can tell me all about how to get some funding for my little business, so cross your fingers.


Jane

Getting There

Hello again. It’s Monday and a beautiful sunny day in Vancouver, BC. I am wearing a summer dress today for the first time since last summer. I drank my morning coffee on my deck in the sun this morning enjoying the warmth of the sun and the peace and quiet. I didn’t even think about how I would be stuck in traffic if I were working 🙂

It’s now been 7 days since we quit smoking and I won’t lie, it was a little tough on the 5th and 6th day. I chewed a LOT of gum, but I made it! Mr LoveThat and I went to celebrate our first non-smoking week with some friends at a barbecue on Saturday which was great fun and much needed after being cooped up in the house most of the week. I guess that’s the downside to being unemployed/
working from home, is that you don’t get out much and there’s no one to talk  to like there would be if one was in an office full of people.

I shouldn’t complain – we had a stream of visitors yesterday. Every time we tried to go grocery shopping, someone else would show up, including Mr. LoveThat’s son to wish him happy Father’s Day. It was a pleasant surprise. I was going to work on some new designs for cushion covers, but by the time we got back from grocery shopping it was time to make supper! So we ate, watched a movie and went to bed. Such is life in the fast lane.


Today I will work on new designs and post them later on in the week. In the meantime, pop over to my Etsy or Bonanza Shop and check out some of the stuff I have there.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveThat50
http://www.bonanza.com/booths/LoveThat

Talk to you soon.

Jane

It’s working!

It’ day 4 since I had a cigarette and it hasn’t been too bad. Of course, I was a little, er, irritated on Sunday and Mr. LoveThat and I had a few ‘moments’, but they soon passed when I realized what I was doing. Monday was a little better, but Tuesday I struggled with cravings which I smothered with raw vegetables dipped in ranch dressing, and some fruit (not dipped in ranch dressing!). I kept myself busy packing and cleaning and doing laundry. By yesterday, I was exhausted with it all and so lolled on the couch in the afternoon and watched a movie. I even managed a short nap which was luxurious!


Today, the cravings are greatly reduced, so I feel very positive about my non-smoking future. As for feeling better. Well, I know it’s early days still, but I can breathe a little better and my singing voice is coming back which is wonderful.

I started Pilates on Monday. I haven’t exercised in about 10 years – eeek! It felt good while I was doing it, but boy were my muscles sore that evening and the next day. I realized that I should have rested my aching muscles yesterday when I attempted the second session, but I stuck it out and absolutely have to rest them today. I couldn’t do Pilates today if I tried. Mr. LoveThat advised that I could probably hurt myself if I attempt it today. So I will be back at it tomorrow. I must tell you that I’m like Oprah when it comes to exercising – I hate it! But, I know it’s essential to my wellbeing and I just have to look at my starting-to-jiggle underarms and I have renewed enthusiasm!


And then, out of the blue, I got a phone call from the manager of freight forwarding company asking if I am interested in joining his team specializing in project work. Of course I’m interested. I LOVE project work!! Project work, in the shipping world, is specializing in the mining and oil and gas industry shipping heavy and oversized equipment to set up new mines. It’s always exciting, never the same thing twice and very challenging.


I don’t know where he got my name from – perhaps LinkedIn – but I chatted to him for a while before I realized this was probably a phone interview! Yes, I can be a little slow at times. After the call, he sent me an email and I sent him one back with my resume. The next day, I got another email back to say he will set up an interview this week. So I wait in anticipation …

In the meantime, I have made a huge mess de-cluttering and so must make a garbage and donation run so I can, once again, walk down my hallway without falling over something!

I started painting a French address design on one of my lampshades. Mr. LoveThat liked this type of décor and so I thought I would give it a try. It’s turning out not too bad. I will finish it today and post a picture of the finished product.

So, until next time …

Jane

The Plan!


Hello – it’s Friday! It’s raining here today but the forecast shows sunshine for the next 4 days, so it looks like it’s going to be a sit-on-my-deck-and-sip-wine weekend. Not all day, of course! But for me there’s nothing better than a chilled glass of apple wine from our local winery just about around 5pm.


We signed the lease on our new little cottage yesterday. We move at the end of the month! I haven’t moved house in 8 years, so we have a bit of de-cluttering to do! As for our new ‘lifestyle,’ the plan is as follows:

  • Quit smoking! Sunday is the day for Mr. LoveThat and I.
  • Start an exercise program. Pilates and walking my dogs is the first step for me.
  • Eat more raw fruit and vegetables! Raw fruit and vegetables to munch on when the nicotine cravings hit. We already include fruit and vegetables in our meals, but I know I should be eating more.
  • Work on new designs for my business.
  • Get a new job!

I got a call back yesterday from a company I applied to for a job. It was just the initial phone interview which seems so popular these days. The interviewer lady was careful not to let on whether she liked my answers or not, but if I am successful, the manager will be in touch. It’s in a perfect location about 5 minutes drive from our new cottage, so I hope to hear from them. Of course $10,000.00 to get my little business off the ground would be wonderful – then I wouldn’t have to get a job, but unless the money fairy shows up in the middle of the night, or I win the lottery, I will have to work for a living for a bit longer.

I did work on a new cushion design yesterday which I loved so much, I decided to use it for curtains for our new cottage. It would also make a great duvet cover. I posted on my Etsy shop – Lovethat50, and also on Bonanza. So head on over there and check it out. Here’s 2 photos to whet your appetite.


 
 
My son, who is a partner in my little business, is working on a website. Here’s preview.
 
 
 
I love the beach cottage/house look and will finally be able to create that look in our new cottage! It needs a little TLC and neatening up. I will be taking before and after photos when we move on July 1st.
 
So, back to the decluttering for now. Any plans for the weekend? I hope they include some fun.
 
Jane