SHABBY CHIC BOYS CABINET - tips for a masculine cabinet

Easter is just around the corner and as a child my Grandfather
loved to make elaborate scavenger hunts with hidden notes
and mysterious riddles for my sister and I. He had us running
back and forth hunting over at least an acre of land looking
for the next clue cause we knew there was one huge chocolate
easter egg at the end and it was filled with more goodies.
For me it was more like winning a trophy than an actual
Easter hunt and I wanted to display my prize for everyone
to see.

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There are a ton of upholster tutorials on the web
but everyone still asks how I do my corners. I am
not professionally trained, I learned over the years
what works and what doesn't. The same way the
first upholsterer must have learned through trial
and error. I have uploaded 2 short videos taken
while doing the corner upholstery on a footstool.
First lets go over a few of the beginning steps ...

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This is how it happens ...
I was at the drug store early one morning and as I
passed by the magazine rack I found a new magazine
jumped into my basket. For me a new magazine means
shutting out the world and enjoying some quiet time in
a comfy chair. When I arrived home and unpacked my
bag I decided to get into that chair and started flipping
through the new magazine. That's the moment it happened,
I flipped to the next page and saw some vintage foot stools
that I adored and then the whole plan came into my head
how to make my own.

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What would you do with a large collection
of old furniture legs? I have a huge stockpile
of tapered furniture legs that continues to grow
because I didn't know what to do with it.
I've run across different projects on Pinterest
but none really got me excited. Finally a
magazine article changed that and I found
myself consumed with an idea and I went
straight to my work room and got started.

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PIN-WORTHY WINE BAR - stereo cabinet makeover

I lost interest in this solid wood french provincial
stereo cabinet and offered it up for another anxious
soul to revive, little did I know it's potential in the
spirits category.

This one is PIN-WORTHY!

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When I was very young my mother wallpapered
one wall in our bathroom with paper that looked
similar to newsprint. It was the end wall next to
the toilet. The first thing you saw when you walked
in and it was always there to look at and read if
you had the chance to stay awhile. There were
parisienne can can dancers and theatre ads. Lots
of images of household wares for sale like a new
iron that would revolutionize your life. It was
all very worldly to a small child and I will never
forget those images.

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I am a fan of Murdoch Mysteries, a Canadian TV drama
series set in the 1890's. For those unfamiliar with the
plot, Constable William Murdoch is a Toronto detective who
solves his cases using methods of detection that were new to
the time. There are many scenes set in the streets of Toronto
and I enjoy seeing all the shop signs that have been recreated
for filming. They also shoot scenes in the city morgue
which has a great turn of the century look. When I was
working on this next project I envisioned this cabinet in that
setting with white vintage labelling on the glass. But how to
recreate that for myself?
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DRIFTWOOD FINISH - how to video

Growing up we spent most free weekends camping
on the shores of Harrison lake. The lake always had
lots of silvered driftwood and my father, sister, and
I would build rafts to sail around on. I was a skinny
child with long legs and big ambitions. The bigger
the logs the more I wanted to roll them down the
beach and build them into our rafts. I could never
forget the look and feel of those sun kissed driftwood

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BEFORE AND AFTER - grey cabinet reveal

Many of our grandmothers had a glass doored cabinet
in their homes like the one I found at Value Village.
I can remember pressing my face against the glass
to see my Gram's English tea cups sitting on the
shelves inside. My friend's grandmother was
Hungarian and they had lots of Czechoslovakian
crystal on display behind glass doors.

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CREATING ORNATE DETAILS - secrets revealed

I have given many furniture projects a new
look by adding ornate details to boring flat
kick plates. The tools I use for this are a
pencil, a jigsaw, a hammer, finishing nails,
and an applique.

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Want to know the cheapest way to
added appliques to your painting projects?

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USING WALLPAPER ON FURNITURE - shelf reveal with a before & after

I moved into a little farm house years ago that had a super big
kitchen. The original cabinets were painted sunshine yellow
and someone added a navy blue celestial wallpaper on the upper
portion of the walls. It was HIDEOUS but that never discouraged
me against using wallpaper myself. When I'm out picking I find
wallpaper in every thrift store I visit and our Home Depot sends
old stock and damaged rolls to the local RESTORE. Wallpaper
is a perfect helper to revive vintage furniture and on this project
I used 2 different ones, in 2 different ways.

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ADDING BUFFET LEGS - beefing up the frame

Most of the time I have to pull out all my wood working
skills and sometimes even the swear jar to get some legs
install on furniture. While working on this buffet outside
in the warmth of last summer's sun I took several photos
to show how the frame was built and what I would have
to do so I could install a set of legs.  

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SHABBY TALL CABINET - custom wood working

Growing up I wasn't the daughter that liked to play with dolls.
I was the tomboy playing outdoors, riding bikes, making ladders
to climb higher and building forts to spy from. We didn't
have a lot when I was young but we did have five acres of forest
and daddy's garage, where I could find old cans of nails and a
hammer to build whatever I wanted.
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ORNATE SHABBY WHITE BUFFET - reveal with a before and after

This buffet has been perched in my back room
for five months longingly looking my way every
time I pass by to use the shower. I had huge plans
for it right from the beginning but the work was
going so slow while other things were also
demanding my attention. The final hurdle was
to refinish the inside, and make it look as good
as the outside.

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ROPE HANDLES - tutorial

Time for the tutorial on the big nautical rope handles
I used on my beach dresser. They work really well
on these drawers and look incredible. It took some
time to find the rope I wanted to use but in the end
I nailed it.

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WHITE WASHING VIDEO - recycling bin

I've had an unfinished wood bin in my kitchen
for years and I've always wanted to whitewash
it. Person projects always seem to take a back
burner to other work but I finally stole some
time during the holidays to get it accomplished.
I even pulled out the camera and did a quick
video of how easy it really is. In hindsight I'm
not sure what took me so long.

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CHANGING THE SHAPE OF FURNITURE - shabby white three drawer

Very rarely am I ever happy when I just paint furniture
to give it a new look. Every artist has something they
specialize in and enjoy doing. Sometimes when I look
at a piece of furniture I see a shape that it should be but
currently something is is distracting from it or missing.
These pieces are also broken or unusable the way they
are, which makes me want them more. It becomes my
job to recreate it for someone new to love. For this project,
a little three drawer cabinet. perfect for a little girl's room,
I added 4 different salvaged pieces to change it's shape.

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BIG SOFT ROPE HANDLES - nautical beach dresser

I'm over the moon in love with this project. I finally got to
create some big fat nautical rope handles on a set of
drawers. And I'm here to tell you it took awhile to find nice
soft rope to use instead of thick prickly sisal that is
available everywhere. I went to a tack and feed store,
a boat store, every hardware store I could think of and finally
just gave up. Then one day when I was not looking there it
was right in front of me and you'll never guess where.

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The holidays are over, the turkey is all done,
but our bills remain to remind us of our fun.

The day after Christmas we had a big break-down,
on my desk sat a broken computer that made me frown.

Then in the van we had a broken part that made everything cold,
so we paid to replace it like we were told.

I guess it's time to get back to work and roll up those sleeves,
to pay for the furnace that broke on New Years Eve.
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GET YOUR JEWELRY ORGANIZED - dressing room update

This time of year we all love to get organized.
As a present to myself I replaced my long
dressing room mirror with a hidden jewelry
cabinet mirror to help kick off some of that
much needed organizing. I had no idea what
I was missing until now. My jewelry has always
been in a box or drawer and I have never had
it properly organized. I was always spending
too much time untangling things to enjoy
wearing my jewelry. Over the holidays I got to
use the new cabinet and it's so much fun now
being able to select a piece to wear with just
a glance.

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I use to have a large village with a bridge, street lights and
tons of little bottle brush trees. I also had lots of little people
to walk the streets and fence lines in my village. It is great
when children get to enjoy Christmas villages so a few years
ago I past everything on to my nephews to enjoy. They even
got the train.

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I have an old metal and wood sled I display
on the porch each winter. The wood has been
getting pretty weathered and I have seen some
really pretty sleighs on Pinterest painted white
so I gave mine an update with some Annie
Sloan Chalk Paint.

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I mentioned last week that I have been decorating my mother's
home as well as my own. This is a peek into how her home
is shining and waiting for all of us to arrive for our big family
dinner. Please enjoy these photos ....

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CHRISTMAS DECOR 2014 - part 3

Our Christmas bed this year definitely has a starry
night feeling to it, which for the holidays is a lot of
fun. Last year I used snow flakes on the window
over our bed and paired that with a heavy red
plaid & wool blanket for a snow lodge theme.
It has been quite warm this year so the starry
night theme seems to work better.
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CHRISTMAS DECOR 2014 - part 2

This is day two of the Christmas décor for 2014
and it's all about our Christmas tree. I hope you
enjoy looking around our cozy home for the holidays.
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CHRISTMAS DECOR 2014 - part 1

This year I'm decorating two homes, mine and my mothers.
Mother is very traditional and I'm not, so it gets confusing
when I go from one home to the other. I hope to share some
of her home in the days to come. Our main space has been
decorated in vintage whites with greenery and sparkling glass.
These are the photos taken of the décor around the TV.
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20 FURNITURE APPLIQUES that will keep you inspired


Appliques and wood decorations are a fun and clever way to
add ornate design to a furniture or cabinet project. I've used
appliques to hide old screw holes and damage to the wood on
a few projects. They can change the shape of furniture and
even change the era it may seem to belong to. Wood
appliques can usually just be glued into place but when you
get creative and start thinking outside of the box you will
need something stronger to mount cast iron ornaments like
on this blue dresser (#1)
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Black paint finishes are tricky and hard to make look
right, and I don't work with Annie Sloan's Graphite
paint all that often but when I do I have a tried and
tested method to get that great finish that I want.
I have finished two short videos to share with you
of me using dark wax on AS Graphite paint and
using fine steel wool to apply it. 

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SANTA'S MAGIC KEY - christmas tutorial

The Christmas season has arrived and we started by
making a special little gift to send to George's
Grand-daughters, Santa's Magic Key. When I was
their age my house had a small chimney that went
into a wood stove and I worried Santa would not be
able to deliver our presents. When Santa has a magic
key waiting for him he has no trouble getting into
homes that do not have a fireplace. One Christmas
I even slept on the floor of the bathroom so I could
see when he might come through our front door.
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MISFIT HANDLES - shabby chic chest of drawers

One of the many repurposing projects I have
undertaken is finding new ways to use vintage
hardware. Whether I find one lonely handle or
12 ugly ones I collect them until some great
sets can be created. I started using the word
"MISIFT" to describe the unique collection
of hardware when I was listing them in my
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PHARMACY CABINET - shabby chic build with an old window

I like building things with wood. I keep a lot of wood
bits stored for when I want to build something. I find
building furniture very rewarding, and building furniture
using old windows from the past gets me more than
excited. This tall Pharmacy Cabinet was made with
several different vintage pieces.

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This is a quick video I took of how I clean
my wax brushes. I did struggled with an
effective and easy way to get my brushes
clean until I tried this.
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VINTAGE CABINET - mercantile photo shoot

I had a fun photo shoot with a vintage reclaimed
cabinet that I rebuilt. I used several vintage suit
cases, a large reed basket, some old pop crates,
an old window and my new canvas tote bag. I
love the look and feel of the piece.

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EARTHY GREEN RECIPE - how to color mix

I mix a nice Earthy Green color to paint
on George's candles when he request it.
Many have asked for the recipe and I
really had never nailed down how I
made it until now.
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2 MINUTE WAXING VIDEO - how I use clear wax

I have put together a 2 minute waxing video for anyone
who wants to understand how I wax my ASCP furniture
projects and get a silky smooth finish. The cabinet in the
videos is a single nightstand that was painted in Annie
Sloan Chalk Paint. The edges were sanded before the
waxing started. 
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DISTRESSING & CHANGING - shabby chic sidetables

Autumn is here on the west coast and the winds have
also arrived starting to change how everything looks.
All the leaves are wonderful colors and the winds are
taking them from the trees. A lot of different things are
changing around me including my mother. She has
learned her life style needs to change. She had a small
stroke Christmas eve last year and this fall was for her
to relax and recover from heart surgery. Everything was
going really well until ...  

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This nightstand started out as a home made little box made
completely of quarter inch plywood. I really like working
with plywood because it is super strong and can be worked
with the same way solid woods can be. Plywood in most cases
is even stronger than solid wood. Plywood is a sheet material
manufactured from thin layers or "plies" of wood veneer that
are glued together with adjacent layers having their wood
grain rotated up to 90 degrees to one another.
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RAISED OVER $3700.00 - chairs for charity 2014

Chairs for Charity this year was another great success
with $3575 being raised at the evening event and an
additional $200 coming in later. This money will go
along way to buying toys for the many children the
Langley Christmas Bureau look after.

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CLOCK CABINET - my charity donation


The Passionate Home's Chairs for Charity Auction is underway
and all the donations are now on display at Frosting. All the silent
auction items are now open for bidding so stop by and see what
you want to place a bid on. I posted a lot of the pictures yesterday,
and saved my donation to share with you today.

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CHARITY EVENT - 2014 chairs for charity and more


We set up all the amazing donations for this year's Chairs for
Charity today at Frostings. Silent auction for half of the items
starts tomorrow and the live auction for the top items happens
Thursday night. Frostings cupcakery is located at the west end
of Langley's one way in down town. This charity event is a
fundraiser for our local Christmas bureau. This year it's not just
chairs, meaning there is all sorts of items donated and I have all
the photos to show you, except mine. That will come tomorrow.

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This is a peak at one of two beautiful nightstands I
salvaged once a mid-century waterfall vanity was ripped
into two. If you have thought about trying this yourself I'm
here to let you know you can do it but it takes a bit of work
and you need some patience to figure out how the vanity was
originally built. 

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This year's annual Chairs for Charity is coming up soon.
This charity event is a fundraiser for our local Christmas
bureau where artists, bloggers, shop owners, and the like
use their skills to create something in the home décor
department that represents their passion and donates the
item to be auctioned off at a fun evening event right in
the down town of Langley.

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RE- PURPOSING DINING CHAIR LEGS - nightstand inspiration

I use all sorts of legs when I'm building and redesigning
furniture but did you realize sometimes I even repurpose
legs from dining chairs. I like adding short legs to nightstands
and other pieces of furniture usually because they only need
a small lift, but when I want to lift something much higher I
look to the legs on dining chairs. Not all dining chairs have
reusable legs but those that can be used look great
when reworked into my style of furniture.
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STENCIL SIGN CLASS - sign up for this Monday

It's that time again!

My next stencil sign making class is this coming Monday
October 6th. The class runs from 1pm to 4pm at
The Passionate Home in Langley.

Call 604 532 5931 right away to book your spot.

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This AFTER picture is a project I recently undertook
for added privacy while covering a window and it's my
current view when watching TV. I also used a pair of
lighted wall sconces to replace some of the lost light
from the window.

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CURVED GLASS CABINET - chartreuse paint

With every internet search I could think of and all my years
of loving vintage furniture I have never come across such a
unique piece as this one. And to think it has made it through
the years without either curved glass panel in the doors
getting broken or even showing a chip. To helped this cabinet
stand out from the rest I pick an extra special color.

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VINTAGE KEY HANGERS - combining wood with white

I find something very appealing about natural
worn wood working next to a fresh white
palette. The old pieces of wood I use for
projects like this are from vintage furniture
that have gone past the point of saving in
there original form. The wood used behind
this painted tree & house key hanger was
the side of a deep filing drawer in a turn of
the century desk almost a half inch thick.
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SIGN MAKING CLASS - this Sunday or Monday

It's that time again!

My next stencil sign making classes are just around the corner.
You have 2 different days to choose from, this SUNDAY or
MONDAY in downtown Langley BC. The classes run from
1pm to 4pm at The Passionate Home. Call 604 532 5931 right
away to book your spot.
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I wasn't looking to buy any furniture the day
this dresser crossed my path. The lady who
owned it had bought it as a refinishing project
and was told the side panel that was split and
separated was an easy fix. I felt compelled to
save it and the owner, as this is NOT A
SIMPLE FIX for the average refinishing
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