~An Art Wall~

As many of you know I have been


re-doing my eldest daughter's room
 {I am beginning to sound like a broken record
But I have run out of steam, my budget is limited (or non-existent?) and time is not on my side.

All the materials for the headboard are ready to go, but since I have a saw phobia I am waiting for the husband to help cut the plywood that is collecting dust in the garage. 

Hopefully this weekend after my daughter's 16th birthday party has passed and I can breathe a sigh of relief, I can sweet talk the husband to plug in the saw and help :)

One project I ACTUALLY accomplished was putting together an art wall for her room. Being a typical teenager she loves to surround herself with photos. 

What a perfect way to display her photos and other artwork than to create a gallery wall that is so in vogue.

Using a collection of spray painted thrift store frames, a mirrorpainted canvases by moi, Ikea frames and monograms, I created a gallery of sorts along her bed that she can add to along the way.

"How did I do it?," you ask with bated breath.

To create a galley wall that reduces the amount of nail holes, you start by laying out the frames and arranging them on the floor until you have come up with an arrangement you like. 
{This is where I forgot to take a photo}

Next trace each frame, canvas or mirror onto kraft paper. You can use newspaper or a roll of   gift wrap as an alternative.

Start taping each piece on the wall, fiddling with the paper until you are satisfied with the look. I use a level and yard stick as well to make sure I have things lined up.

 Step back to  see if the arrangement is to your liking

Start hanging up the art work, one piece at a time.

{This was a photo taken of my daughter by her friend in a photography class}

Once finished....
Stand back and enjoy! 

I also added small little plastic dots on the bottom corners inside of each frame so they would "stick" to the wall and not shift.

I am thrilled with how the wall turned out. Now onto the headboard.....

Wish me luck.


{traditional Bohemian pottery}

As I reflect this week on my grandmother's passing I came to the realization that she has been an influence of my love of home design and decor. Despite being born during World War I, living through the Great Depression, World War II, a communist takeover of her beloved Czechoslovakia, having both her children leave and emigrate to Canada, the death of my grandfather 24 years ago and her immigrating to Canada in her late 70's, she always surrounded herself with pretty things. I remember when she visited Canada while I was growing up, she was a force to be reckoned with but despite her tough demeanor she was a gentle and giving soul. I looked forward to her bringing a pretty dish, candy or jewelry from the Czech Republic. On our birthdays we would get a beautiful box of the most ornately wrapped chocolates. She also NEVER threw anything out and collected so many things from airplane straws to traditional Czech corn husk dolls. 

{Czech Easter eggs in a Bohemian crystal trifle bowl and my china}

Over the years I have been given many of her things from jewelry, crystal and pottery to antique lace that her aunt had made. Between her and my other grandma they scraped together what they had in order to slowly create a collection of beautiful blue and white china, not only for me but for my sister and cousin as well. You can read about my china here.

{my blue and white blue onion china}

As I look around my house I realize how that small, demure woman has influenced the way I like to surround myself with pretty things. It is my tie to my heritage and to the wonderful grandmas that I so dearly loved and admired.

{my garnet jewelry}

{more Bohemian crystal and a traditional Czech corn husk doll}

When you look around your house and think about how you love to decorate your home, who do you think has influenced you?

~Coffee Table Love~

I am back!

 We finally resolved the internet issues {my husband to the rescue}. Felt like I was in withdrawal - not being able to get my daily dose of blogs.

Today you can join me at a linky party over at one of my favourite design bloggers

It's all about coffee tables.

Check out her coffee table, an amazing Craigslist find! Aren't her bookcases so chic? Also a Craigslist find.

She wants to know how we use our coffee tables.


 Let me tell you a story.....

At our home we have two coffee tables, one in the living room and a well used ottoman in the family room. The coffee table in my living room is one I love dearly.

{This is usually how my table is styled - bare and sad}

 Can you love a piece of furniture dearly? 

Despite it's shabbiness: I can.

{Sad photo: raining outside - dark sky-north facing room - photographing  black indoors - really tricky - tips anyone?}

 It is a Danish mid-century style teak coffee table that my parent's had in their living room while I was growing up. {They have a lot of amazing teak pieces} I inherited the table when I married but after many years of abuse by my children, husband {yes dear, you must use a coaster} and a dog, it needed to be resuscitated.

I tried to refinish it....

 Sadly, it wasn't solid teak and couldn't be refinished so with Benjamin Moore to the rescue, it was painted with a solid oil-based ebony stain.

Funny story: While I was waiting for a coat to dry, my dog decided to eat my latex glove! When I went for a walk with him later I {uhmmmm} "discovered" it.

My coffee table is one of those hand-me-down pieces that I can't let go. I remember jumping off that table as a child, having Viennese coffee with my Czech grandmas, watching my daughter pull up and dance to Abba's "Dancing Queen" when she was 10 months, watching shows performed on top of the table by two toddlers dressed in swimsuits and tutus, even my dog got in on the action while breaking in his adult teeth on one shelf.......the list can go on.

Never thought a piece of furniture could hold so many memories. Now is sadly sits in our rarely used living room. My assortment of coffee table books along with a hurricane vase sit atop with the occasional flower arrangement. 

I tried to have a plate of shells to decorate it a bit

 my dog ate them.

 It's life in the living room may be limited though, not sure if it will stay here. I find that room is too dark with many dark finishes.  I might move it upstairs in the soon-to-be designed games room where it can be abused a bit more.

In the meantime, put your feet up and join me at Emily A. Clark's coffee table linky party to see how coffee tables play a role in others' lives!

~Technical Difficulties~

What a week!

First full week of school, running to all the kids' various activities, my husband was away on a business trip, no Internet {no blogging} and my grandma died. My sister and I were the only next of kin as my parents and uncle are away in Europe on holidays. Our presence brought comfort to our aunt who handled the calls from the care facility. My lovely grandma lived a full life passing away at 96.

To really add excitment to my week I tackled exciting domestic chores such as washing blinds and shampooing carpets!

You are jealous, right?

I write this post on my iPod as I sit in the rain at Starbucks. Internet service at our home has been almost non-existent for this past week! After being on hold for an hour with the service provider I thought my problem was rectified-but that lasted a few hours. I hope that you can all bear with me until this glitch is resolved!

Have a Happy Thursday!

See you soon.

~Back To School~

Today the kids are back at school. It is bittersweet for me, as I am thrilled to have the house {and computer} to myself, but my heart aches as I realize that in two years my oldest daughter who is in the 11th grade will graduate and move far away to some distance college {her wish, not mine}. I am thrilled for them as they venture into a new school year, my oldest in the 11th grade, the next daughter is in the 9th and my *sniff* baby son is in the 7th grade,  encountering new teachers, friends and adventures  that will shape them and mould them preparing them for a life on their own.

 Time is ticking away. 

As a mother you relish in watching your children blossom and grow but ache when you have to let go. I guess that is why you get to "keep" them for at least 18 years because from the moment they are born you are slowly letting them go. 

Enough sappy talk. 

 The flip side is that I now have peace and quiet for most of the day to work on what I love doing best: painting, sewing, re-finishing, re-arranging, decorating, blogging, reading, walking the dog, running......oh....  and working as an elementary teacher-on-call {the perk -- I don't have to work when I don't want to!}

I am hoping to get the ball rolling on projects that have fallen by the wayside {you must be getting sick and tired of me saying that} and finally finish my daughter's room! 

Have a Happy Tuesday!

~Guest Blogging @ Strictly Simple Style~

Today I am guest blogging for a favourite blogger of mine, Karen @ Strictly Simple Style! 

Strictly Simple Style

Style for your home without the price tag

Karen is trying to free up some of her time to deal with a family illness and I have stepped up to ease her blogging workload by guest blogging for her.

 I have been following her blog for quite some time and am drawn to her honesty and sense of style. We share a lot in common, we are bloggers, mothers and are passionate about decorating and creating a home for our families with limited budgets, repurposing and reusing things along the way. What I truly enjoy is how she entertains various decorating questions and opinions that leads to interesting discussions from her readers. I enjoy reading her comments just as much as her posts!