How to Create a Transitional Winter to Spring Mantel

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by
Spring Mantel with ceramic rabbit and IKEA flowerpots and lantern
It’s that time of year when Mother Nature and the Calendar are at odds with each other in our part of the globe.  Yesterday there was the slightest hint of Spring.  Sun, birds singing, and slightest of mild breezes.  But mild breeze gathered strength and brought with it a System as the meteorologists call it.  Not at all descriptive of the inches upon inches of slush that are accumulating today. 

The Calendar declares that Easter is imminent.  With winter urns frozen solidly into place but the home otherwise long since de-Christmased, what’s a stylish girl to do?

Spring Mantel with ceramic rabbit and IKEA flowerpots and lanternWell, she looks to the seasonal display at the local Big Grocery Store for some inspiration.  Sponge Bob Square Pants chocolates and Dora baskets didn’t really do it for me.  But this little white ceramic rabbit was calling my name.  I set him on the mantel beside the then-empty lantern for a few days to see if he felt at home. 

Eventually some lime green accents starting keeping him company.  Decorative vine balls, mums, a wreath.

Spring Mantel with ceramic rabbit and IKEA flowerpots and lantern
Now we’re getting somewhere.  A Transitional mantel.  Still the lantern and candles from Winter but a touch of green and my little White Rabbit for Spring optimism.  Are you watching, Mother Nature?

Blue Green Spring Mantel with Books

An ironic thing happened when I went to the bookcase to find some colour-themed books to add to the display.  I love the juxtaposition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit with the volume of Frost poetry.  Sorry for the pun on your name Robert.  But doesn’t this just say it all?

I leave you with a little bit of Robert Frost verse:

Spring Mantel // Robert Frost

See that Mother Nature?  We can make our own optimism and inspiration.

Sharing is lovely...

Tea and Colouring

Friday, February 22, 2013 by
In our household we have this happy coincidence of supply and demand.  Maybe you have something like it too.  We have Youngest Son who likes to do his Work…homework, colouring, crafts…wherever someone else is also around.  And so his little supplies need to be quickly and easily portable, and not take up too much space.  Good requirements for all children and their stuff, actually.

Enter coincidence.  Teenaged Daughter loves her cuppa tea.  Sustenance and stress-relief through our long dark winters.  Hot tea transitions seamlessly into iced tea for the summer months.  There is a steady stream of these cute little containers becoming empty.

And so we use them to corral crayons. Mini markers and pencil crayons. Scissors and glue sticks. Erasers and those little IKEA pencils that keep turning up around here.  Supplies easily tidied up mid-project and moved off the kitchen table before dinner.

Craftier moms or children would decorate the containers with colourful paper and embellishments.  Beautiful idea! 

Live creatively whenever you can.  And enjoy a good cuppa tea.

Sharing is lovely...

DIY Chalkboard Tabletop

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by
DIY Chalkboard Tabletop | dual purpose coffee table and kids' craft table |
So, I have this little vignette in the front room of our home.  The room is alternately referred to as our living room and our music room.  The music part you would understand if I showed a photo facing left.  More instruments than family members, years worth of music books and sheets per instrument, and teaching paraphernalia.  And truthfully, since we are not formal people, this space rarely gets used as a formal living room.  And the music part quickly migrates across.  Nevertheless I work with what I’ve got.

This is what I’ve got:   a child sized table and chairs which doubles as a music teaching/music homework spot and a pseudo coffee table.  It has sentimental value since it came from Husband’s childhood home.  It has the name of one of his Siblings childishly markered on the underside.  Hmmm.  Hope you didn’t want it back Annie H.

This is what the table looked like before…

IMGP5942_chalkboard table_02
…quite unacceptable as a pseudo coffee table.  I have debated for too long what to do about it.  Restain?  Paint?  Replace?It needed to be tidied up at the very least. 

You can see in the first photo that the chair situation has already been addressed.  So while there was a lull in the basement renovation (can you see the flesh-coloured linoleum flooring?  Oh man I can’t wait to reveal the After of this space!)  I lugged the child-sized table…it weighs a tonne…they don’t make them like they used to…downstairs.

This is what I found in our storage room to use for my little makeover.

The primer seemed like it would be perfect.  Since there were marker stains, even burn marks, to cover.  And it worked great.  But turned out I wrecked the paintbrush.  Oops.  So don’t use this kind unless your paintbrush is disposable!

The chalkboard paint I had bought a while ago for another project that I never did.  Oops.  But see, I’m using it now.  Read the instructions carefully because you have to wait many hours and then cover the surface with chalk and then brush it off, and not wash it for many days after that.  Here’s the finished product.  Perfectly acceptable (and practical) for a not formal living room doubling as a music room. 

DIY Chalkboard Tabletop | dual purpose coffee table and kids' craft table |
I mentioned that the chairs had already been fixed up.  When the Personally Teens were in Junior High they did them as an art project at school. 

DIY Chalkboard Tabletop | dual purpose coffee table and kids' craft table | personallyandrea.comDIY Chalkboard Tabletop | dual purpose coffee table and kids' craft table | personallyandrea.comChalkboard | Live life creatively |
Personally Teen’s project was done as a Bateman.  Miss Personally’s as a Monet.  And mine as a Chalkboard.  Tidied up quite nicely.

DIY Chalkboard Tabletop | dual purpose coffee table and kids' craft table |

Thanks for visiting.

xo andrea

Sharing is lovely...

Family Valentine’s Day: Table Decor

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 by

Valentine's Day Decor | carnations, baby's breath, mason jar, plaid |
What a fun occasion to celebrate as a family.  Ever since we have all been able to sit at the table in a civilized manner…wait…actually maybe we’re not quite there yet.  Ever since I have hoped we could all sit at the table in a civilized manner, we have been celebrating Valentine’s Day with a festive family dinner.  Decorations, dessert, the works.  Not fancy necessarily.  Just festive.  A theme is usually helpful to simplify things but still have it pulled together.  My usual…red.

Sharing is lovely...

Snow Day

Monday, February 11, 2013 by
OK friends.  It’s time to get back to my little project of documenting some iconic winter moments. 

This weekend Mother Nature sent us the most enormous snowfall of the season so far.  In fact the most enormous in a couple of years.  Thanks so much.  By the end of two days there was a thirty centimetre plus accumulation.  No school buses.  No school.  So with all Family Members dispatched to begin the monumental task of clearing snow I headed out with my camera in hand.
Here we are in the backyard at about mid-snowstorm.  I was hoping to get a beautiful photograph of individual pretty snowflakes.  I even googled to get some tips and ideas.  I should have started out by building a little hut for myself a la ice-fishing.   It seemed  it was going to take the same amount of patience.  And frostbite.  After a foggy lens, frozen fingertips and no success I move to Plan B.



This is the way to enjoy a snowstorm.  From inside.  Looking out through the window.  Now I’m not convinced there really were any very pretty snowflakes anyway.  But this was cool how they clumped together in these shapes against the windowpane.


Here they are piling up from below…


…and piling down from above.
A lotta snow.  Out there.


Sharing is lovely...

Pink Lipstick

Thursday, February 7, 2013 by
Well, girlfriends.  Doesn’t this look glam?  I agree.  And I have been feeling very glam carrying this around in my makeup bag for the past several weeks.  Full disclosure…I got this for Christmas.  From Little Sister who is the ultimate put-together fit working-mom-on-the-go.  But pink!  I don’t even know if I own a pink article of clothing.  There’s certainly nothing pink in the home decor around here.  And me, I’m a tinted chapstick, sheer lipgloss kind of girl. So this was a bit out there for me. Well.  Little Sister informs me that I need to start sporting a bold lip.  From halfway across the country may I add, so not like she’s here to help me. 
So I pop the glam little tube into my make-up bag and carry it around for weeks, all the while sporting my tinted chapstick sheer lipgloss look.  Well the day finally came when there had been one too many flu bugs, too little sunshine, one too many late nights studying with the Teenagers for exams.  Out came the little tube.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Miraculous!  It erased a whole season of sickness, lack of sunshine, high school in a single swipe.  Maybe all of you are already believers.  But I am hereby a convert to pink lipstick.  Little Sister is a genius and I thank her for broadening my horizons.  Look out world, I am sporting a bold lip.
Now you will notice there is second tube.  Oh yeah.  And guess what.  It’s not pink.  No.  Berry.  Berry!
 IMGP5901_lipstick_03I feel very glam carrying it around in my make-up bag.

Sharing is lovely...