Decorating · Embroidery · Gardening · Paint jobs · Thrifting and antiquing

New house update, plus some stitching

Seems like forever since I posted here, but it’s been less than a month.

It’s been, however, a month in which I got a lot of stuff done that belongs on this blog, so this will be a long one, lol…

Where to begin…

Living room

First, let’s see the before:

As you can see, this is the listing photo and the previous owner’s stuff. She wasn’t really using the room, and it was an awful tan/beige color. Including the trim, which throughout the house turned out to be a lighter shade of beige or sorta cream. Ugh.

Since I delayed posting, I’m not gonna bother with the step by steps, just the room as it is now:

So, this was last night. Stuff here: rug is from Wayfair, trunk is from my late grandmother’s house and is likely at least 70 years old if it’s one she brought from Poland after the war, red curtains are from Jysk (I hemmed and added a simple lace trim to the bottoms, see below), tiebacks are vintage from the 50s bought on eBay, both the stool and the chair were bought at one of the Victoria Habitat for Humanity Restore locations, the pole lamps (there’s another one, see below) were bought at auction last year, ditto the little round table with the gold base, the yellow sheers came from Fabricland, plant pots here are from Art Knapp’s, Dinter’s, and Homesense.

As you can see, I painted the walls turquoise (Behr, “Paradise Landscape”). Probably not as obvious in this lighting is that I also painted the trim white.

Here you can see the other pole lamp, the red chaise from Wayfair, the sofa from the Brick, and cushions from Homesense, Michael’s, and Fabricland. The wall at the back will be blank for a while, but in the summer Dad’s going to build wall to wall, floor to ceiling bookshelves to fill it.

Indian valance from eBay a couple years ago.

This was taken the day before (note the sofa still boxed up). I’m including it for fun as none of this stuff is staying in the living room, but the nook/mudroom/sunroom next to the kitchen where the chairs are destined is still full of Dad’s tools and random crap and probably will be the last room dealt with on the ground floor, so they’ll be here fore a while. The little black table will go in a corner of the dining room by the stairs, but that is also waiting to be painted. Chairs came from the auction house, table came from an antiques shop in Ladysmith (probably from the same auction house, though, as I notice a lot of things I see at auction turn up there a couple weeks later, lol), and the lamp isn’t nearly as cool as it looks here and was left by the previous owner. My guess is she got it at either Walmart or Ikea. The big plant pot came from London Drugs, the little ones from Homesense.

My plan for this corner is to find an antique sideboard or desk/table for cheap and put my stereo on it. It’s also where I’d set up my Lemax houses at Halloween and Christmas.

But for now, the living room is done until I can move the rest of my stuff into the house and go through and decide what art is going where.

Downstairs bathroom

Again, let’s look at the sad tan before:

It’s a little misleading since the color is off (eg, the counters are white, not pink, and the tan was so much darker than it seems here. It was also on the goddamn ceiling. See below, a photo I took on house inspection day:

Anyway, it took 3 coats, but I got the damn ceiling white, and then got Dad to swap out the ugly cheap boob light with something a little nicer that I got from Lowe’s (I left the vanity lights other than swapping the bulbs for LEDs):

And after the first coat of aqua (Behr, either “Seaglass” or “Hidden Seaglass,” I forget… I have one for the kitchen and one for this bathroom) went up, it was even better:

Dad also installed an exhaust fan, there wasn’t one before.

It took another coat of aqua, and I decided to paint the white-ish cabinets a deep blue (Behr, “Indigo Batik”), which also took two coats:

And I did my usual trick of swapping the knobs for Indian ceramic ones (got them on eBay and probably a couple came from Pier 1).

The bathroom is almost done now, just have to put up some towel bars I got from eBay and other accessories, will try to remember to post a pick on the weekend when it’s all finished.


Again, some before pics:

I like the windmill palm tree. That’s about it. And funnily enough, last August I bought two baby windmill palms for my future house even though this one hadn’t even come on the market yet, I just knew I wanted some palms at my place. The idea will be to build a long huge flower bed off the back of where the palm is (where you’re standing in this point of view) and put one baby palm at the end and one in the middle. I’ll then fill it either with exotic annuals or things that at least look exotic. Y’know, those elephant ear plants, canas, mallows that look like hibiscus, hardy hibiscus if I see one, hostas, etc. Fake tropical to go with the tiki stuff I put in already:

The evergreen hedge blocking the view of the backyard from the patio must die. The plan is to cut them down, rip out the stumps if possible, and replace them with a trellis that I can plant honeysuckle, jasmine, and clematis on.

I do have half a mind, though, to be either kinder or crueler depending on opinion and simply cut off all the branches below 6 feet. That would leave me with 4 trunks with some foliage up top, kinda like the world’s worst topiary. Then, I would either wrap chicken wire around them like a sort of wall and have the flowering vines grow up that or would weave some sort of wire support structure through the trunks for the vines, but I don’t know yet. Probably it would look better to just rip them out and build a trellis. Anyway, I already bought the honeysuckle and the winter jasmine.

Behind this view is the yard, which is actually pretty big.

The shed is mine, but is sorta crappy and really short. Dad figures we can lift it off the slab, build a pony wall, put it back, and put in new doors so you can actually walk in. I’ll need more storage anyway, so an 8×12 shed will be going in next to it (more ugly everygreen shrubs that need to die). And then I’d put some compost piles and probably a greenhouse around the back as well.

I also want to build a fence (the giant tree is the neighbor’s) both for privacy and because I plan to get a dog.

Beyond that, the grass is going away other than maybe a small patch by the crappy shed. I plan to have veggie and flower beds and do other landscaping that will take years to complete. (You see why I want that hedge gone – I wanna sit my ass on my patio and admire my work, damn it!)

So far, however, all I’ve done is hang up some decorations, put out some flamingos, and line up some Walmart primulas on the edge of a planter bed next to the patio (it already has rosemary and some bulb shoots in it, so I decided to leave it alone for now).

Oh, and that white pot got filled with soil and about 20 daffodil bulbs that have been languishing in their bag in Dad’s carport since October.

While we’re on the topic of plans, here’s the before for the front:

So, grass, but basically two postage stamps of grass, one of which is half dead. There is a pond full of something (irises?) on the right and a Japanese maple just out of frame and some rhododendrons and mystery perennials by the house. And a giant tree just off the top left corner which I suspect is a magnolia.

Which is to say it has potential. Not as a front lawn, but as a front garden. I’m thinking a cottage garden in yellows, pinks, purples, and blues, and maybe some whites since I’m assuming a magnolia of the age mine must be is going to be a white one, not one of those pink/purple new varieties and it will be balanced by a bit of white here and there.

To that end I have already picked up some shrubs to anchor it, namely, a weigela, a quince, a hydrangea (and the previous owner abandoned one in a nursery pot in the backyard), an azalea, a viburnum, a fothergilla, and I have seeds for perennials and annuals as well. I’ll take some measurements today or tomorrow and plot out what will go where and then plant the shrubs next week.

Misc. other house stuff

Well, as you’ve seen in the various interior pics, I’ve been buying and potting up houseplants as well. Here’s a few shots of them so far:

Plants came from Dinter’s, Walmart, and Canadian Tire for the most part. Pots came from the same, plus Homesense and Art Knapp’s.

I also got a storage cubby upstairs painted while Dad did the large storage room, but I forgot to take photos of the finished spaces, so we’ll skip those for now. Suffice to say the Christmas and Halloween stuff I showed being packed up in my last post is now mostly up there.

I also painted a couple more medallions, these for the dining room:

First coat was a pearl white:

Then I got to the real faux finishing, dabbing on gold and copper:

And the 3 finished medallions:


Yeah, I got some done.

First off, I finished the fob I posted about before, just in time for the end of 2018:

I had step by step photos, but meh, it’s almost a month later so whatever. This is why I should do this blog every day or at least a couple times a week.

I also got a few more stitches into this Sylvia Pippen sashiko kit:

And into Blackbird Designs’ “Yellow Submarine”:

And Carriage House Samplings’ “The Birds and the Bees”:

And Michelle Ink Designs’ “Quaker Gone Tropical”:

And into Little House Needleworks’ “New England Winter Sampler”:

Haven’t had time for any quilting, though… lol…