On a recent trip to my local St. Vinny’s, I came across what appear to be two original John Haymson pen and watercolour paintings. They are about 3′ ⨯ 1′, and honestly, if they aren’t original paintings, they’re the best prints I’ve ever seen. I had no idea who John Haymson was when I bought the paintings; I just knew I loved them. Here’s a little background info on the artist:
John Haymson was born in Austria in 1902. He studied art at the Vienna Academy of Fine Art, and fled Austria on foot in 1938, narrowly escaping arrest by the Gestapo. Haymson made his way to France, where he sailed to the U.S. in late 1939. Haymson enjoyed a long and successful career in the United States, creating works in a broad range of subjects in watercolour, lithograph, and oil, until his death in 1980.
Doing a quick internet search, it is easy to find estimates ranging from about $250, all the way up to $4500. Not bad, considering I bought the paintings for $5 each! Some cool guy is trying to sell a Haymson on Ebay for- wait for it- $39, 500.00!!! Good luck with that, dude. I don’t think I’d sell my paintings for a few hundred dollars, but I’m pretty sure for $79,000.00, they’d be going to a new home (and so would I)!!
I’m heading outside now to paint the frames black, but here are some shots of the paintings. I love them so much, and they look amazing in my slowly evolving bedroom design!

Hi everyone…. I’ve had a crazy busy week, so sorry for not posting anything even mildly interesting all week. I’ve been so busy with school, the kids, packing and spending our holiday weekend at my parent’s cottage, that I didn’t have a single moment to blog.
So I thought I’d post a bit about my living room today. A few years back, I was really into Country Living magazine, and my home was full of antiques and shabby chic decor. I don’t know what happened, but one morning I woke up, and instead of looking charming and comfy, my house looked like it belonged to an 80 year old woman. I had to do something, but didn’t have a lot of cash. I began slowly switching things out… small things at first, like picture frames, lamps and pillows, then eventually I replaced the furniture.
One of the things that I changed was my artwork. When we moved into our new place a year ago we began collecting posters from some of our favourite bands. This instantly made our room feel “younger”, and added a bit of our personalities to the space. So far, we have four posters, though one is too big for this wall, so only 3 have been hung. Eventually we plan to hang them wall to wall, totalling eight posters.
Here’s what the wall looks like so far:
(please excuse the reflection of Spongebob on the picture glass)


(only with all different posters, rather than all the same ones)

Ok, so it’s not the best Photoshop ever done, but you get the idea. My husband and I have been trying to decide on the final 5 posters that we’ll purchase.
We’re thinking:
Pearl Jam
Queens of the Stone Age

Broken Social Scene


and maybe:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Band of Horses

We bought a Rage Against the Machine poster, but I didn’t check the measurements before ordering (duh), so it’s big. No idea where I’m going to hang it. This is the one:
The frames are 16 ⨯ 20 in poster frames from Walmart, and cost about $16 each (CDN). I’m not big on collecting things, but it feels like Christmas every time we get a new poster in the mail! I think I could easily get carried away with collecting concert posters, and end up covering every square inch of wall space with them!

Another checkmark on the never-ending list of decorating “to-dos”:
The gallery wall in our room is complete. For now. Unless I find artwork that I like even more than these pieces, at which point I will toss these ones in the garage after a short and heart-felt, “It’s not you, it’s me” speech.
First I laid the frames out on a big sheet of paper, traced them and marked where the nails need to go. Then I taped the template onto my bedroom wall where I wanted them to hang, like so:

Then I hammered nails into the spots I had marked, like so:

Then gently removed the paper, like so:

Then I just hung my thrifty finds on the wall, and voila! The gallery wall that I have spent the last 4 months procrastinating is finished in less than 20 minutes!

And I even spent the time to go around the room and touch up all the paint. Here are some shots of my thrift store art:

Little flower saucer:
Cost: $1.99

Hand painted tiles:
Cost: $1.99 each

Board-mounted print:
Cost: $2.99

Fall landscape scene:
Cost: $3

Water colour of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris:
Cost: $3

(Yes, I know this is a crappy shot. Give me a break, I’m not a photographer!)

Round Mirror:
Cost: $10

Our bedroom is getting dangerously close to becoming the first room in the house that is entirely finished …..after a year of living here. Which is kind of embarrassing. I think it’s time to play the, “I have 5 kids, and go to school” card. 😀

Make sure to come back for the big reveal, coming soon!

That’s actually part of my job description around here. Head repurposer of ugly crap. 😀
Since I don’t have a lot of time to blog again today (Hayden has made it her mission this year to join every club and extra-curricular activity offered at her school) I thought I’d show you something that I recently picked up for $1 and repurposed.
Over the course of the summer I slowly and painstakingly re-finished a very ugly dresser. I’m not showing that to you today. Instead, I’m going to show you something that was originally ugly that I picked up to put inside the dresser. Intrigued? No? What-evs. I’ve gotta be at a cross country meet in 20 minutes, so this is what you get. 😉
What was once an ugly little display unit for a bitter old woman’s knick knacks is now……
My fantastic jewelry storage device:

All I did was coat the entire thing with 2 coats of Minwax stain in Bombay Mahogany, and filled it up! I’m keeping my eyes peeled for another ugly knick knack display unit, since I still have one remaining unused drawer, and a lot of jewelry!

Sorry for my delay in posting today. It’s been one of those days……
Meet Isabella:
No doubt you’ve probably seen a photo or two of her on this here blog.
When I was pregnant, I decided to make a quilt for her. I had planned on making one for a girl, and one for a boy, since we weren’t finding out the sex of our baby, however, I only ever got around to making the girl blankie.
Here are a few pictures of Bella when she was still an itty bitty baby, just for kicks:

But I digress…..

I was very lucky that we ended up with Isabella, because this blanket just wouldn’t have suited a little boy:



I made many of the squares from old pillow cases that I’d purchased from thrift stores, and the rest were from a fat quarter pack I bought from Walmart. Here are a few shots of some of the vintage squares:

This is what the centre panel that I embroidered says:

And here’s a close-up of the embroidery I did on the back:

I got the embroidery patterns from Martha Stewart Baby magazine. I searched for it online the other day, and could not find any record of the pattern on Martha’s website, though she does have other beautiful patterns and templates.

I spent many long hours hand quilting Isabella’s blankie, while dreaming about meeting my sweet baby. Here’s another picture of her, just because I love her!

Alejandra from For Moms With Love has awarded Adorn on a Shoestring with the Versatile Blogger Award! Alejandra writes a great blog chock full of interesting and informative parenting information, not to mention lots of pictures of her two adorable babies! Thank you so much, Alejandra, I’m very flattered to have made your list!

7 Things About Myself:
1. I love all colours, and do not have a favourite.
2. I love all types of interior design, from shabby chic to minimalist modern, but my personal favourite is mid-century modern design.
3. I’ve been with my husband, my best friend and the love of my life, since I was 18 years old.
4. I’ve been pregnant 7 times in 14 years.
5. I love to sew and bake.
6. I had a shaved head for most of high school.
7. I have a very large tattoo that runs down the length of my spine. It is my husband’s name, my name, and my children’s names. All of the names run together and are mirrored. At first glance, it looks like a fish-spine, and only when you look closely do you realize that there are names. The tattoo symbolizes that our family is forever linked and reflected in one another. My husband has the identical tattoo on his forearm.

So without further adieu, these are the 15 blogs that I have chosen as the new winners of the Versatile Blogger’s Award:

The New Winners for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

13. red.house
Now, the rules to winning this great award are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 other bloggers who you have recently
discovered and think are fabulous.
4. Contact the bloggers you chose to let them know they won the award.
So pass it on…..

I don’t have a lot of time to blog today because my kids are home for a P.A. day (hip hip…. ), so I thought I’d quickly tell you about an easy DIY project that I completed.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is go and buy a huge print of an ugly painting. The bigger the better. It should be a print, because you don’t want lumpy bumpy oil paint on the surface.
These are along the lines of what I’m talking about:

I suggest looking at smaller thrift stores, like the Goodwill, St. Vinny’s, Salvation Army, etc. I see these ugly pieces of crap at Value Village all the time, and they’re asking a minimum of $20. Yeah, OK Value Village, whatever. I spent $6 on mine at St. Vinny’s.
Step 2, take the thing outside, and spray paint it with grey primer. The whole thing; the painting, frame, and back of frame. I used this:

Then I painted the painting with three coats of black chalkboard paint. I didn’t tape off the frame, since it was going to be painted next. Here’s the chalkboard paint I used:
I then waited for the chalkboard paint to dry (it dries really quickly), and I then used newspaper and green painter’s tape to cover the surface of the painting so that I could paint the frame. I picked up some cheap green spray paint from Walmart for less than $2. Here’s the brand I used:

And that’s all there was to it! For less than $20 I have a huge chalkboard hanging in my hallway, ready to display a to-do list, the evening’s menu, an inspirational quote, or a nagging reminder from mom.
Here’s my finished chalkboard:

Hope everyone has a great weekend!
At the beginning of the summer my husband and I picked up two Walter Nugent c-15 loungers from a yard sale for $5 each! I stripped and stained them with Minwax Bombay Mahogany stain, and they’ve been sitting in my husband’s office without seats for the last 3 months. I know, I’m awesome.
Here’s a shot of the label on the underside of the seats:

So today I thought I’d tackle the upholstery. The selection of fabric patterns available in my town is very small, and I’m somewhat leery of ordering fabric online. I really like to touch and feel and see fabric before I purchase it. But I digress….

Here’s a shot of the fabric I chose:

The project is not going so well. Mainly because the fabric has no stretch to it. So I thought before I launched the chair through a window, I’d take a break and show you all a preview of the chair. I still have a bit of sewing to do on the upholstery, since the cover doesn’t fit right, and the chair seat has to be re-attached to the base. In time, I may reupholster these again, maybe in a stretchy vinyl of some sort, and salvage the fabric for pillows.

I had before pics, but somehow lost them from my computer. :S

I’m thinking of leaving this project until the kids are in bed tonight. That way if a few angry curse words slip out, there’ll be no one to call me on them.
The worst part is, I still have the mate to this chair to finish. But at least I’ll finally have a place to sit when I wander into my husband’s office during the day. I predict his productivity will drop dramatically with the completion of this project. 😀

Today I’m cleaning.
I much prefer to decorate than to clean, but unfortunately, it has to be done. Once my house is decorated pretty much the way I want it, I actually keep a very clean, organized home. But when it’s in transition, like it is right now….. not so much. Whenever I’m feeling particularly unmotivated, I normally spend some time checking out blogs and websites devoted to cleaning and organizing. I also try to catch an episode of Clean House, Hoarders, or How Clean is Your House. Those shows could motivate anyone to get off their butt and clean!
These are some of my favourite sites that inspire me to clean and organize:
Get Organized! : this is a fantastic blog, full of helpful articles to help you gain control of your home and life.
Organized Home: this site is full of great information, from making your own cleaning products, to saving energy, to creating a holiday plan.
Flylady : the Flylady system basically teaches you to gain control of your life through making and sticking to routines. When I first found this site, I thought it seemed a little hokey. But once I got into it, I was amazed that by sticking to my routines, my home was clean all the time.
The Clean Sweep’s Housecleaning Blog: housekeeping help and home organization tips from a professional cleaning company.
Simple Organized Living: this site offers loads of advice to manage time and money and control clutter, as well as recipes and info to make your house a home!
Unclutterer: this site has well written, interesting articles. One of my favourite features of the blog are the “One year ago on Unclutterer” posts, where links are posted to even more interesting articles that new followers would otherwise miss out on.
Creative Organizing: organizing and productivity expert Aby Garvey shares tips, tricks and workshops to help you get more organized.
Get Organized Now! : tips to help you get and stay organized.
Life Organizers : this site has an insane amount of information to help you “organize your life”. This site is really does offer everything you need to tame clutter, and organize your home.
Organized Families : a blog dedicated to helping moms help their families to get organized. This blog has some really unique ideas to family organizing issues.
365 Days of Organization: this blog has nice short little tips and monthly to-do lists.
Neat & Simple Living: ideas and resources for living well with ADHD, creative personality and chronic disorganization tendencies.