Thursday, November 04, 2010

My Oh So Pretty Kitchen


My goal was for my kitchen to welcome people!  I love the colour!

Well, it is Finally done! Or, as done as it is going to be for awhile. There are some finishing touches that I will add over time, but for now my kitchen is done & I'm loving it! I took the time to declutter, delete things I wasn't using and to really organize all the cabinets. You can click on this Link to peek if you want to see some before shots. I will be adding more before shots with information on what I did.  If you want to look more closely at the photos just click on them.

Everyday I walk into my kitchen and feel Happy! The colour of my cupboards makes me smile everytime I look at them! I love the wall colour...I was really going for that clean swedish look yet still be cosy! Our house sits on a heavily treed lot and is a challenge to me when it comes to choosing colour! But thankfully, I am happy with the results!  The colour is Timothy Straw by Benjamin Moore & I used their Aura Paint with no fumes.

Even on the dullest days in November my kitchen is still cheerful!

For a galley kitchen it is very spacious!

Okay, I realize my fridge looks messy...but beside it to the left is an area for your laptop and more open shelving.

You can't really see it, but we added beadboard as a back splash.  Very inexpensive & pretty!  I used melamine paint for the beadboard and months later, and many scrubs behind the stove it is still looking new!

I love my beadboard which I know is hard to see.  In my next post, I will show more before & after shots.

I love my floating shelves!  I bought them at Mardens for $10 each and only had to paint them white.  They hold my new everyday dishes perfectly.  The white glass cabinet is a work in progress.  The inside is mactacked & I need to paint over it. Vintage 1970! 

I love my new yellow cabinet that I bought for $5 at a yard sale.  It is a hospital bedside table which I painted.  The Ikea shelves above I purchased on Kijiji for $20

We added new countertops & the microwave above the stove.

This cupboard is one my brother in-law Paul built for me many years ago.  I didn't want to paint it as it had aged to a beautiful honey pine.  But it didn't look so good anymore in my new kitchen so I painted it this lovely yellow...which was actually a colour I had chosen for my cupboards but then changed my mind.

This dining set was given to us by my mother inlaw.  However, we hope to paint it at some point as the top isn't in such great shape.   I had worried it would look to old & dark, but I actually like it!  I love my vintage tablecloth.  I've had it for years and only bring it out for Thanksgiving.  So, I am enjoying using it on this table.

Oh...& a big thank you to my friend  Heidi who took the photos for me!  She is a great photographer and has a beautiful camera!  All my pictures were dull looking with my cheap camera!  So Thank you! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Holiday with Matthew Mead

I can't wait to receive this beautiful magazine that my sister has helped to create! When I stop and think about how someone from our small but beautiful town, has managed to live out a dream of writing and decorating for someone as talented as Matthew Mead well, I think that's kinda cool!

I encourage you to support ...this magazine. Matthew Mead has chosen to publish this magazine with minimal advertising. Instead, focusing on creativity & content! Someone has finally heard the frustration from readers who feel all they end up buying is another magazine loaded with advertisements and minimal content!

You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Beautiful Fabric

Today I was out with my mum and we wandered through our local Fabricville ever hopeful to find something unique and fun!  We left disappointed!  Then I headed to Calais, Maine for the afternoon with my husband and peeked through the fabric department at the local Marden's.  They actually can be a great source for drastically reduced, pretty fabric.  I managed to buy my Waverly fabric for my tent trailer last summer for only $1 yard!!!!  Anyways, nothing inspiring today!

I love fabrics...I only wish I had a budget for the many amazingly beautiful fabrics available online.  I discovered some beautiful fabrics by Heather Bailey at her online store.   Her fabrics are inspirational!  I realized that I enjoy sewing.  So far, I have only been sewing for practical purposes.  I have made slipcovers for my camper, curtains, pillow covers, etc...but I'm itching to sew some things for the house that make me smile on a daily basis, not just when we go camping!  Can't wait!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Kitchen Reno...Finally! Part 1

After much feet dragging, excuses, laziness, lack of inspiration, fear of committment, we finally began the long, tedious process of giving our kitchen a lipstick makeover! I could go into all the tedious details involved in prepping & painting old cupboards but I will spare you all the details

Dining area.  

I will say is my goal in life to NEVER do this again! I am deeply committed to doing a great job...but is stressful! I want a kitchen that reflects my tastes, our family lifestyle, my love and need for colour,

yet won't involve expensive, time consuming neutralizing for when we do sell our house someday in the future.

The hideous painted peeling tile...Gone!
Priming the walls.

Then came the patching and sanding of the walls, replacing heaters, electrical plugs and switches, and finally priming and painting the pea green walls! The colour I chose is called New Brunswick Sky! As I write this, I am not 100% passionately in love with the colour...but I do love it! I have learned to wait until the end to see if the ideas  bubbling around in my head actually looks as nice as I hope they will be!

The nightmare of finding the right colour!

One thing I did was fill in where the knobs and handles had been with wood filler and sanded them which added extra work but worth it!

A sampling of the old wallpaper.   Vintage 1970's

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Note to Self....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Saturday Treasures

Well, now that summer is in full swing & yard sales beckon each Saturday, I thought I would share some of my more recent treasures!

My beautiful gravy boat!

Russell Wright Vegetable Serving Bowl $3!!

Beautiful buttery yellow Johnson Bros. Gravy Boat $2.

Large wicker tray $2, beautiful large white salad bowl $1 and vintage 1970's wooden serving set 50 cents.

Some beautiful vintage hand towels.

Trying to decide if I should paint this $5 dresser that I love??

Friday, April 09, 2010

Medicinal Uses of Dandelion

The humble little Dandelion has remarkable nutritional value, being
very high in vitamins A and C, with more beta carotine than carrots
and more potassium than broccoli or spinach, not to mention healthy
doses of iron and copper for good measure. Medicinally, Dandelions
are considered very safe and effective as a general tonic that helps
strengthen the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, stomach, and
intestines, improving bile flow and reducing inflammation in cases
of hepatitis and cirrhosis. Dandelions also help to dissipate
gallstones and are believed to improve kidney function, thereby
improving overall health and clearing skin problems.

Dandelion tea is the perfect choice for those with the above problems
or those who lead relatively sedentary lifestyles and who experience
discomfort associated with this, such as constipation, digestive
disorders, indigestion, and general sluggishness and fatigue. Just
one cup per day will yield noticeable results within the first few
months. Tea may also be of benefit for many of the problems
associated with diabetes and low blood sugar.

Externally, the white sap from the stems or roots can be applied
directly to ease the pain of sores and bee stings, and is useful in
the elimination of warts, acne, and calluses.

Dandelion coffee is made by grinding roasted roots, and makes a nice
substitute for regular coffee, but without the caffeine. People who can't tolerate much
coffee can drink as much as they please and reap the health benefits
without any side-effects. For the sweets lover, ground root mixed
with warm milk and a little sweetener makes a very tasty and
nutritious creamy beverage with few calories.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Have I Mentioned My Amazing Sister Lately....

This is a recent article by the Halifax Chronicle Herald about my beautiful, talented sister!  Her new magazine Flea Market Style has finally hit the newstands!  I encourage you to buy it and support this magazine as it is, as far as I know, the first magazine to truly feature and value bloggers who share their decorating talent which would have otherwise gone unnoticed!  Thanks to the wisdom of Mathew Mead the main creator!  Enjoy!!!!

New Glasgow blogger lands in New York decorating magazine
Flea Market Style lists MacDonald as Editor at Large
Sun. Feb 21 - 4:52 AM

Linda MacDonald, a former nurse, caught the eye of home designer Matthew Mead when some American publications ran a story on a playhouse she had decorated for her daughter.

Flea Market Style is published by Harris Publications Inc. in New York.

Linda MacDonald’s career as a writer sounds like one of those Hollywood success stories in which a future star is discovered while sorting socks at the automatic laundry.

In MacDonald’s case, American home designer Matthew Mead discovered the New Glasgow woman while she shared her homegrown decorating tips with her sister through an online diary or blog.

"It was just her reading it as far as I knew," MacDonald said.

But one thing led to another until this month when the mother of three school-aged children and former nurse opened the premier issue of Flea Market Style to see her byline on five articles and herself listed as the magazine’s editor-at-large.

MacDonald profiled five decor bloggers for the magazine that was launched by Mead and co-editor Ki Nassauer, and published by Harris Publications Inc. in New York. There’s an article about MacDonald herself, a feature she wrote about a home tour and another feature about an antique shop in Great Village. The fifth article focuses on her daughter’s playhouse, decorated by MacDonald.

The playhouse was what first attracted Mead’s attention, after prominent American newspapers, magazines and home decorating websites featured her blog post about it.

Mead contacted MacDonald and arranged for a photo shoot last summer that coincided with a visit to Great Village. The meeting soon grew into a larger role for MacDonald, as she began blogging about the behind-the-scenes creation of the magazine.

The co-editors recognized that she had a good way of connecting with potential readers through her blog, and saw that the future of publishing relies on reaching out to the online community, MacDonald said.

But she didn’t start out to be a writer. She fell into decorating because it turned out that she was good at it. She and her husband bought and resold homes, which moved quickly after MacDonald redecorated them.

After a real estate agent suggested she go into business staging homes so they would sell faster, MacDonald took a brief course, but she is otherwise self-taught.

She found there was little demand for staging in the New Glasgow area, so she branched into decorating. The work allowed her to meet other people interested in restyling their homes on realistic budgets, and to be at home with her young children.

At her sister’s suggestion, she started the blog ( to share her love of what she calls "modern vintage" decorating style. When people other than her sister told her they followed it she put a counter on the site.

Then she watched as the number of visitors increased to 1,000 a month, leading to her gig with Flea Market Style. Readership increased to 1,000 hits a day as visitors began following her posts about the behind-the-scenes creation of the magazine.

"It’s a really innovative way to gain support for the magazine," she said.

MacDonald is uncertain if more issues of Flea Market Style will be produced, or if it will be a single-issue magazine, but Mead has already asked her to contribute to a Christmas design issue.

She tries to promote the inclusion of Canadian designers and attractions, because so many Canadians read U.S. publications, she said.

She’s grateful for the encouragement from the online decorating community.

"If you felt no one was reading, there wouldn’t be much inspiration to write," MacDonald said.

And she’s still amazed that the blog started as a small experiment and grew into something that she loves to do, and earns her an income as well.

"It blends decorating and writing, and it’s more fun than just choosing paint colours," she said. "I’m actually really enjoying writing, as much or more as decorating."

Monica Graham is a freelance writer living in rural Pictou County.