A Litte Background and 2013 in Review

garden table

Hi there,

Here’s a review of how all these changes came about. It started in May last year when I was suddenly laid off from my job. Looking back, I should have seen the so-called writing on the wall, but, hey, I’m a little slow :). I decided then, to enroll myself in a 6-month course to further my career and to relieve the boredom while waiting the 5 months for my course to begin, I did little reflection. I needed, and wanted, to change so many things from my attitude towards life in general, to quitting smoking, to upcyling my furniture, to moving house – everything. I knew this would take some time, so we began with moving house, a little upcyling and even dabbling into some hand painted linens.

My “quit smoking” plan date is tomorrow. I will be posting a day by day account of this to perhaps encourage others – or just provide a good old fashioned laugh for the rest of you! You can find this on the Quit Smoking Challenge Page of this Blog.

So, to bring you all up to speed, here’s a review of life so far …

Rose bottles

I opened an Etsy Store in February called CottageHeaven50. Initially, it was going to be for selling repurposed/upcycled items like this chalkboard that I made from a dresser door

Chalkboard (2)

                          I actually sold this one! 

This beach-themed clock made from a wooden fruit bowl I found at a thrift store. It’s now part of the decor in my workroom.
Beach Clock
and this end table which I painted and added a French address to
French Table2
But items like these were expensive to ship and I wasn’t really set up to ship such things. So I started experimenting with lighter items. I love table linens – well, linens of all kinds – so I started fabric painting place mats. This sea horse was my first attempt.
Seahorse place mat
These French-country place mats became a best seller
Paris Place Setting
and I had such fun with them, that I made a matching table runner
Paris Table Runner
Paris Table Runner closeup Edge
I made various tea towels
Hanging Tea Towels2
Launay Tea Towel
Marguerita Tea Towel
Bird Tea Towel
Tea Set Tea Towel2
In between the many forms and research involved in applying for Government funding for my International Freight Forwarding Course, some of it quite frustrating, we decided to move house! We found a lovely little two-bedroomed 1945 house on half an acre, and on one very hot weekend in July, the moving nightmare began
Living room - moving day
Living Room
I loved this little old house, but it needed some tender loving care for sure, and the first order of business was to clean up the very overgrown and long uncared for garden. But first things first – set up the garden furniture and have a nice cold drink!
garden furniture
It took two weekends to clean it all up. From this
Back-veg. gdn
To this
Back new
and many wheel barrows full
But underneath it all we discovered somebody had once loved this garden. I placed angels under the blooming Clemaytis
Splashes of colour everywhere
flowers in bloom
And soon we had a never-ending supply of roses all over the house
roses in vase
After that, it was time to assess the house. Whoever last painted the inside had done a terrible job of it, slopping paint all over the place and painting over everything. I discovered the original hardware on a pull-out chopping board in the kitchen
Cutting Board handle - old Cutting Board hanlde - new
And vintage drawer handles from, I would say the 70’s or 80’s
Kitchen hardware - old
Kitchen Hardware - New
And an ugly wallpaper border
Ugly kitchen border - 4611 Smith St.
Which I very quickly turned into this
Kitchen Finished Product1
Not the most professional of jobs, but much more pleasing to the eye.
Over the next few months, we will be doing a few renovations, so keep checking back here to see how it’s all going.
We upcycled and repurposed some stuff – an old TV stand got a new coat of paint
TV Stand
New TV stand
Which got a further upgrade two weeks ago
Our dining table, which we bought at a thift store (along with 5 chairs), was sanded down and stained
Table Sanded
Table After2
A new look for our bedroom furniture Well, just the nightstands. We plan to finish this project in the next month or so.
Night stand before
Night stand finished2
And then after months of saving – a new couch!!
New Couch
We turned the old futon mattress into doggy beds
Cut futon mattress
Doggy Bed from futon mattress-Tiki Doggy Bed from futon mattress-MJ
I did a little reorganization and decluttering
Books Coats
And, of course, all work and no play … so we managed some outings to make the most of our summer. A visit to Steveston fishing village for prawns and salmon fresh off the fishing boats
Steveston Prawns
Granville Island for a birthday lunch and a visit to the Farmer’s Market for our supper.
Granville Island Entrance
granville island beer and sangria
granville island public market
Food market
Bought supper, italian bread & fruit at the local market
The Buddhist Temple
Buddhist Temple - Bridge
Buddhist Temple - Chinese Lanterns
Wine tasting at Lulu Island
Lulu Island ice wine2 Lulu Island wine tasting
Lulu Island Bar
And of course, no summer is complete without at least one visit to the beach with a girlfriend
deep cove beach log
deep cove Life Guard
deep cove watr
deep cove2 - Jane
Summer turned into Fall and the beautiful colours that go with it. Our glorious sunshine continued and the daisies and roses continued to bloom into November
Knowlton, Eastern Townships, Lac Memphremagog, Quebec
Soon Thanksgiving was upon us and I painted some Thanksgiving and Fall place mats
Fall Collection
And had the family for a Thanksgiving feast of cornish hens and all the trimmings
thankgiving table food
Thanksgiving Table closeup
All too soon, thoughts turned to Christmas and I got busy making Christmas things for my Etsy Shop
Reindeer closeup
Silver Bells setting
Reindeer Wine Bottle
A throw pillow cover with a British theme
A slip cover for my living room chair
Slip cover for chair
Winter came early and gave us this a week before Christmas
winter 2013
We decorated our living room. Our tree was too big for the tiny space, so I had to compromise with a smaller tree
xmas tree 2013
Xmas decoration closeup 2013
With money being a little tight this year, I made some of the gifts. Place mats for my daughter
swallows closeup
swallows tablescape3
and some mugs
Clare's Tea cup
And before I knew it, Christmas day had arrived and another feast with the family
Xmas 2013 - Jane & Namee
Silly hats are compulsory!
I learned some things along the way. How to get my family to eat vegetabes
green beans

A whole bunch of things to do with blueberries – we discovered 3 bushes of them in our back yard.



I learned to count my blessings, that there are no wrong turns, just unexpected paths

unexpected path

to choose love – always
love book
And to appreciate my beautiful surroundings, no matter what the season
winter 2013
Tomorrow begins “Quit Smoking Day.” So come back tomorrow evening and see how it went.
Cheers for now


3 thoughts on “A Litte Background and 2013 in Review

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