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 …
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
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.
and this end table which I painted and added a French address to
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.
These French-country place mats became a best seller
and I had such fun with them, that I made a matching table runner
I made various tea towels
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
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!
It took two weekends to clean it all up. From this
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
And soon we had a never-ending supply of roses all over the house
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
And vintage drawer handles from, I would say the 70’s or 80’s
And an ugly wallpaper border
Which I very quickly turned into this
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
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
A new look for our bedroom furniture Well, just the nightstands. We plan to finish this project in the next month or so.
And then after months of saving – a new couch!!
We turned the old futon mattress into doggy beds
I did a little reorganization and decluttering
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
Granville Island for a birthday lunch and a visit to the Farmer’s Market for our supper.
The Buddhist Temple
Wine tasting at Lulu Island
And of course, no summer is complete without at least one visit to the beach with a girlfriend
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
Soon Thanksgiving was upon us and I painted some Thanksgiving and Fall place mats
And had the family for a Thanksgiving feast of cornish hens and all the trimmings
All too soon, thoughts turned to Christmas and I got busy making Christmas things for my Etsy Shop
A throw pillow cover with a British theme
A slip cover for my living room chair
Winter came early and gave us this a week before Christmas
We decorated our living room. Our tree was too big for the tiny space, so I had to compromise with a smaller tree
With money being a little tight this year, I made some of the gifts. Place mats for my daughter
and some mugs
And before I knew it, Christmas day had arrived and another feast with the family
Silly hats are compulsory!
I learned some things along the way. How to get my family to eat vegetabes
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
to choose love – always
And to appreciate my beautiful surroundings, no matter what the season
Tomorrow begins “Quit Smoking Day.” So come back tomorrow evening and see how it went.
Cheers for now