Archive for March, 2012

A Moth to a Butterfly


This is my latest project. Sometimes I can’t believe the outcome until I look back at the pictures of “before.” Afterwards, I think how did I have the patience to do this!? I guess the challenge is just too tempting because I know it can be something very beautiful afterwards. So this is my “moth to a butterfly” transition for this month!

Good grief! This poor beauty has had some abuse over the years.

Stripped down…I must’ve pulled thousands of staples and tacks. My wrist is paying for it. Also removed all the springs, added the plywood base and  painted my favorite antique warm white with glaze.

Ta da! Lovely!

I’m really into these flower embellishments lately….so whimsical and pretty.

Now I’m on to more diamonds in the rough!  Have a great weekend everyone <3.


Inspirational Board Tutorial


This is my first tutorial! How to make an “inspiration” or “memory” board. I love this project…it’s creative, fun, enormously useful and beautiful! One afternoon can get it done. Also, it makes such a great gift, I’m trying to eventually gift one to every family member. I love that it’s handmade and personalized for each recipient. I wanted to share and help anyone who wants to try this themselves so here it goes!

Supplies:  Frame; 1/2 to 1″ foam; sheet of 3/8″ plywood; staple gun and staples; fabric; ribbon; small decorative objects; landscape fabric, picture hanger.

For this particular project, I am starting with a wonderful little antique frame I found, however you do not require a frame. Just follow the instructions and eliminate the frame step and size the board to whatever size suits you.

A 3/8″ inch of plywood is cut to fit into the frame. The plywood has to be a minimum 3/8″ so that staples don’t go through to the other side.

The plywood should fit slightly loose (1/8″ all around) to accommodate the depth of the fabric you are using. Tip: cut the corners off the plywood, it can be important later.

Foam is available at Fabricland by the foot. Use 1/2″ thickness for small boards and 1″ for large boards.

Cut a piece of the foam using a exacto knife with a nice sharp edge. Make the foam slightly larger (1/4″) all around so that the edges of your board will be softer when you handle it.

Pick the fabric of your choice. Tip: If it is a patterned fabric, make sure you consider the pattern repeat and buy enough to centre it on your project board appropriately!

Fabric is cut approximately 2″ to 2 1/2″ larger all around the perimeter than the plywood/foam to allow wrapping space.

It’s best to iron your fabric so there aren’t any wrinkles to contend with!

Align your three pieces together. Fabric bottom, followed by foam, followed by plywood.

This is my dream tool. For upholstery and projects invest in a pneumatic stapler! It will become your best friend …hmmm I guess you can still drink wine with it, but you’ll miss the conversation and you may screw up your project! You need a compressor to operate it, but if you have a hand controlled staple gun, that will work too. Just a little  harder on the hands and takes a bit longer.

Start on one side of the board, fold the fabric over to provide a double layer and some strength. Staple every inch all around. This is what your corner should look like when you get all sides stapled. Tip: apply some pressure on the entire piece as you staple. The foam will compress and provide some tightening when you let it all go. If it’s a really large inspiration board, I literally climb on top of my table and kneel on it! I look ridiculous but it works!

Corners can be tricky. Cut off any excess fabric you don’t need, otherwise it will be too bulky for the frame. Pull it back as flat as possible and put a couple of staples in it.

This is what it should be looking like at this point.

You can see the edges are soft and rounded from the extra foam hanging over the edge.

Next step. If you don’t align your ribbon properly it will appear crooked and the pattern of diamonds will not be consistent. I carefully lay it all out beforehand and measure to get it as close as possible. You can see a little head pin in the centre to guide me. The ribbons should hang over the edge at least 2″.

Earlier I mentioned trimming off the end of the plywood…this is why. Sometimes your pattern will require the ribbon to go over the corner. Trimming the corner off the plywood will keep the ribbon from sliding off. This particular project and the pattern of the grid did not require the corner, but you can never be sure until you get there!

Using short push pins, secure the ribbons in place at every crosspoint and end point.

The plan is in place!

Flip the board over and using the stapler, staple each ribbon in place. Pull the ribbon relatively snug but not too tight. The slope of the ribbon should hug the side of the board and lay naturally across in a diagonal.

I didn’t leave quite enough ribbon here! It’s barely hanging on, but just enough to get it on the back.

After attaching all the ribbon on the back side of the board, flip it over and put one staple at every crosspoint. This will provide that extra little tightening of the ribbon and give it a quilted effect.

This part is fun! Keeping in mind how to compliment my color scheme and sense of fun with the polka dots, I used little flower petals and gold/crystal accents on each ribbon cross point. Apply using a glue gun. Remember the staple underneath is holding everything in place and giving it that quilted look. I’m loving how it’s come together!

Pretty as can be!!

I think the underside of projects are quite important. I like to take the extra time to make sure that when something is flipped over, you’re not faced with a mess! I use landscape fabric in black to finish off my projects. It’s cheap, easy to work with and cut. But you can use something around your house like some sewing scrap, old sheet or cotton piece and just cut it to size, fold the edge over and staple it all around.

The frame is re-attached using mirror clips (sorry, I forgot the picture)…but I think you get it! This entire project took me about 3 hours. I did scrub down the antique frame to make sure it was clean and let it dry for 24 hours beforehand.

Lastly, install the picture hanger. Available at most hardware stores or Michael’s.

For boards that do not have a frame, I use trim on the edge.

The new memory board will be taken to A Vintage Affair this week along with several others! But you can view all measurements and styles on the website.

Thanks so much…this was fun! I hope it’s been enjoyable for you as it has been for me. Best of luck if you try out your own and call me if you need help. Have a great day and I love to hear from you always!

My Bedroom Reno’s


My home is now about 8 years old. We built new in the neighborhood of Parkdale northwest. We love it here…it’s close to the river paths for long walks and bike rides. Our master bedroom faces south so we get a lot of sun and a view of the playground across the street. In the spring, the children play t-ball in the park and it’s just a wonderful, quaint and enjoyable sight!

We didn’t do anything special with our bedroom as we were focused on other living areas of the house. Now, after all this time we decided it was time to go all out and make the room of our dreams! A few years ago we stayed at the famous Savoy Hotel in London, England and immediately fell in love with the formal, gorgeous high ceilings, mouldings, luxurious fabrics and small details. Our mission has been to duplicate the luxury hotel feel so that we can relax and enjoy the same “vacation” in our own home.

We moved entirely into the guest room so that the mess would not infringe on us. A good idea! Then we didn’t feel pressured to have a deadline. I wish I had taken photos of the “BEFORE” state of our room…but live and learn! Here are the first steps towards that dream!.

So the beginning involved moving each and every electrical outlet to accommodate the mouldings that we planned to do. That was a huge job in itself! I can’t take credit for any of that! I wasn’t about to be responsible for electrical work!

Then we painted out the entire room in primer tinted with halo paint color (Benjamin Moore) which is the color we used on the entire house trims, doors, windows. We decided to keep the theme in the bedroom so that the house wouldn’t be chopped up with different colors and therefore have a seamless transition.


This box was created to accommodate the folding arm of a wall television so that the t.v. would not protrude too much from the wall. We love movies and what better place to be totally relaxed and comfy than in our private retreat!

We then carefully planned out the design of the mouldings and where they would be placed on the walls. Murray then meticulously cut and installed all the mouldings and filled in the gaps.

Beautifully done!

Starting to come together and create our vision!

The ceiling was also painted. We wanted a clean palette to compliment the furnishings that we are putting in the room. So all was painted in the same color. We have a great graduated high ceiling that gives the room a formal feeling.

Inspired by a headboard I found on Pinterest, Murray templated the design using the photo and created the wooden frame. He did a phenomenal job.  Next, it was taken to the upholstery shop. Murray also built the framing for the mattress and boxspring (to be upholstered as well). This saved us a LOT of money! I’m so blessed to have such a talented husband…he has as much fun as I do creating these projects.

What can I say? Spectacular!

The fabric is a soft taupe/grey crushed velvet with lots of depth and sheen.

There are a total of 54 button tufts!

Silver upholstery tacks to compliment the sheen and the crystals.

These 5/8″ inch crystal buttons were a challenge for me…nothing in Calgary like this so I searched and searched online until I found the perfect design. Amazingly, they were relatively inexpensive but are real crystal!

New carpet installed. Color called “Sparrow” a soft taupe/grey with flecks of silk to add depth and color.

I had this antique chaise for a number of years and at one time was going to sell it! So glad I didn’t…it fits perfect in the bedroom. Now the search is on for a side table for my stack of decorating books!

A little bling on these pillows also fits perfect in the theme!

So far so great!! More to come….draperies, bedding and lighting! Will update as it comes along!