Monday, February 28

Gallery Walls: Amazing Advice

You might have noticed that I've got gallery walls on my mind!

Yesterday, I posted some inspiring gallery walls, using The Nester's  wall (from the blog, Nesting Place) as my all time fave.
Well, you can imagine my excitement that, coincidentally, today The Nester's post was all about gallery walls too. You see, I am right in the middle of finishing one in my living room, but I am really stuck on the last few elements.

Her post was fantastic. She provided a tonne of great tips on creating an ahhhhh-mazing gallery wall similar to hers.

If you didn't catch the post, you can find it here!  I highly recommend it!

Until next time, happy decorating!


How to Create Monogram Wall Art {without vinyl cutting}

Happy Monday peeps,

Just thought I'd share a little tutorial on painting your own monogram art.

I'm a big fan of monograms. So I decided to try to make one myself for my new living room gallery wall (which I'll share with you soon).

You don't need a Cricut or a Silhouette or any other special vinyl cutting tool. In fact, I personally think that a hand-painted monogram has a much more authentic feel.

1. First, find some great material, and cut it just a little larger than the size you intend to frame. The thinner and the more 'open-weave' the better, beacuse the next few steps involve tracing. I used a table napkin that has a linen/grain sack kind of feel. I found it on sale after Christmas for $1.49 at Bowering (a Canadian home decor store).  I cut mine ~5x7.

2. Use any desktop program (like Word) to create a large letter in the font of you choice.  I used Bookman Old Style as I was going for a more classic feel.

Yes, my printer cartridge needs changing!

2. Next place your material over the letter, and trace with a fine tip black pen.  Easy peasey.

3. Now, fill in the letter with your favorite acrylic craft paint.  If you want, you can mix it with textile medium, but I didn't, and it turned out just fine.

If you want to create more texture and depth, just use a darker shade of the colour as a top coat.

It doesn't have to be perfect.  In fact, imperfect is best!

4. To create a more aged effect, you can lightly sponge some brown paint onto the edges.  You can also fray the edges of your material.

5.  Final step: frame your beautiful monogram in a frame of your choice, and enjoy!

I adhered it on top of the mat instead of under it, so the aged edges were visible.

Until next time, happy decorating, monogram painting!

This tutorial was referenced on E-How!

Here's how it looks on my new gallery wall!

PS, This tutorial was shared at

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Sunday, February 27

Gallery Walls: Inspiration!

I LOVE gallery walls.

I have fallen in love with (and purchased) a lot of different wall art along the way. The problem is that I am running out of wall space! My new home is open concept, so spots for hanging art are limited.

I like the idea that gallery walls allow you to display several pieces on one wall. You can express yourself and your home's personality without having to commit to any one piece of artwork.

I also love living with things that are personally meaningful, like family photos and souvenirs from our travels. Sometimes this stuff starts to feel like clutter; but on a nicely organized gallery wall, these miscellaneous items suddenly feel more orderly - like a collection.

This wall from Nesting Place is one of my personal favorites. I know, I know, I keep harping on about it. But I just love how in incorporates so many meaningful items - family photos, family silhouettes, subway art and the 'M' monogram. And the chalkboard in the fancy white frame seals the deal.  I just love how whimsical it is.

Photo credits to Nesting Place
 Until recently, I'd been afraid of trying a gallery wall in my own home. I didn't think I could achieve the same look I'd seen in magazines. I assumed that there must be some secret formula to getting that perfectly imperfect look - too much math and measuring for me! (I'm not really one for the "measure twice, cut once" theory; I usually dive right in!) But the more gallery walls I've seen, the more I realized that there is no special code. It simply comes down to creativity.

It's actually a fun process! I recently created a gallery wall in my daughter's room. And, right now, I'm working in one in my living room.

Here's some pictures of gallery walls I've been collecting recently. I love how different they all are. They prove that, when it comes to creating a gallery wall, your imagination (and a hammer) is pretty much all you need.

Just click on Photo Galleries below.

Until next time, happy decorating!

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Wednesday, February 23

Refinished Morris Chair: Reveal!

In my last post, I talked about the chair I was refinishing.

Well, here it is...

To get this distressed look, I first painted the chair in a fresh blue paint (the colour was Pure Water by SICO), and then I rolled on one very light coat of antique white.

Next I sanded it down until the blue began to peek through.  I sanded the edges more heavily in places where it would naturally wear on its own over time, until the original wood began to show.

Finally, I dabbed a sponge brush in some of Folk Art's Sky Blue craft paint and dry sponged it on very lightly in the areas that were most heavily distressed.

As this chair was originally in my maternal Grandmother's home (and was built by my great-Grandfather almost 65 years ago), I really wanted to have a special touch that reminded me where it came from. The "B" monogram is an ode to my mom's family name.

I used a stencil and some Sky Blue paint for the monogram, and the flourishes were created with a few of my stamps and an "Old Olive" Craft stamp pad from Stampin' Up.  I used a sanding block to sand it down a bit so it looks more authentically aged. I like the way it turned out.

I know my limitations, so I bought the cream cushions rather than making them myself.  I found them at Pier One. But I did make the little skirt myself.

The awesome down-filled bird pillow was a fab find at Homesense.  In keeping with the bird theme, I originally thought about painting the word "Perch" on the chair instead of the monogram.  This chair was always a favorite 'perch' in my Grandmother's kitchen.  But there wasn't much room on the chair frame for words, so I kept it simple.

The chair fits great in this little corner of the kitchen, overlooking the backyard.  It's actually a REALLY comfy chair. It'll be a sweet spot to sit and read my favorite magazines.

Until next time, happy decorating!

Psssst! I'm sharing this project at:

Furniture Feature Fridays

All Things Heart and Home


UndertheTableandDreamingFunky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

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Monday, February 21

Jonesing on these Painted Chairs...

Per my last post, I am in the midst of refinishing an old chair, and went looking for paint finish inspiration in my favorite places!  Now I am seriously jonesing on these droolworthy painted chairs.

You might have seen this one featured at Tatertots & Jello yesterday.  
You would not believe what it looked like before! 
I'm in LOVE.

Photo credits to Northwest Hospitality

And, this one from Miss Mustard Seed is simply divine.

Photo credits to Miss Mustard Seed 

I LOVE the distressed blue finish on this year by Lisa at Serendipity Chic Design.  
She always uses the most dreamy paint colours.

Photo credits to Lisa at Serendipity Chic Design

And, of course, I was drawn to this turquoise paint!

And, OK, so these next two aren't chairs.  

But, the finish on this dreamy blue cabinet from Dreamy Whites is heaven.
I've blogged about it before.  

Photo credits to Dreamy Whites.

And, this robin's egg blue armoire from Nesting Place is beyond delicious.

Photo credits to Nesting Place.

Decisions, decisions!

So many beautiful colours to choose from!

Until next time, happy decorating!

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Sunday, February 20

A Recliner in the Kitchen!

I'm smack dab in the middle of refinishing an old chair from my grandmother's home. 

This chair has sat in my basement for about 12 years, patiently waiting for some TLC.  Through several moves, it has been loaded and unloaded; through several basement 'purges' it has survived.  Each time I questionned why we were holding on to it, and each time a told myself: "I am going to do something with that chair some day!"

The chair is about 65 years old, and was made by my great-grandfather. From what I can determine, it is best described as a Morris chair.  Wiki describes a Morris chair as "an early type of reclining chair."

A modern version of the chair.  Source: Wikipedia.

Mine has all the design features of the Morris chair, which include "a reclining back and moderately high armrests, and a hinged back, set between two un-upholstered arms, with the reclining angle adjusted through a row of pegs, holes or notches in each arm." 

Reclines by pushing the back through a series of arm notches.
Hinged back allows it to recline
 I knew I would one day refinish it because it has such sentimental value to me. I can't remember a time when this  chair wasn't a fixture in my grandmother's kitchen.  I wish I had a photo of her kitchen to show you!

As a child, I always found it odd that she'd have a chair like this in her kitchen. She had a small kitchen by today's standards, so functional space was at a premium.  Yet, this clunky chair- which once had large home-made yellow/gold vevet(ish) seat and back cushions - was tucked in next to the fridge, at center-stage. 

What I realize now is that this chair was really the heart of her kitchen.  It was a comfortable perch after a home-cooked meal, and a place for guests to sit for a cup of tea. It made her kitchen a place where conversation and laughter could take place - two things she absolutely loved.

Now I can't help but think what a nice idea that was. What if we all had reclining chairs in our kitchens?  Perhaps a lot more communication might happen :-).

My plan has always been to re-finish the chair, and find a nook in my kitchen for it, just like she did.  So over the past few weeks, I FINALLY made it a priority.

First I had to find seat and back cushions that would fit it.  I assumed that I would have to get them custom-made (expensive), but lucked into finding two cushions for under $100 that will work perfectly. 

Original varnish, and wear and tear.
Next, I started in on the re-finishing - the fun part! It was originally covered with a thick, shiny clear varnish that HAD to go! 

First I sanded with a electric sander, and then used sand paper in hard to reach places.

But the varnish was stubborn, so I decided that it needed primer. Once the chair was cleaned up with a Swiffer duster and then soap/water, I primed it with a latex primer. 

And that is where it stands right now. Primed, and awaiting some shabby chic fabulous-ness.

My next step is the REALLY fun part - picking the paint and distressing/antiquing style. I've been searching for inspiration on my favorite blogs and design sites.

I am so excited to finally get this chair out of the basement.
Later this week, I'll post the finished chair. I hope it turns out like I have always imagined!

Until next time, happy decorating.