Sunday, 24 July 2016

The KITCHEN reno has begun!

What you are about to see may be disturbing to some viewers.
View at your own risk!
 It's NOT pretty!
OK! all jokes aside! YES this is a very disgusting kitchen,
OH! the things we've seen......
it will look great when completely finished. I promise!
The time between my photos, posts and the actual work being done will be staggered so my posts won't be in 'real time'.
We are very busy people and I have the 4 youngest kids in tow.
I am a cook, a housekeeper, mostly a husband works shifts so
you get where I'm going.
I will try to update our progress often.
I am FINALLY looking at paint chips ONCE AGAIN since I somehow LOST all the ones I had collected! I am trying to find that one perfect colour for the living room, master bedroom and hallway flooring. I am wanting a light warm gray. A lot of times you find the perfect colour on the CHIP but depending on the lighting in the home it may look totally different
and end up not looking nice at all!
 I'm trying to get that out of the way so we can get the rest of the furniture in and set those rooms up properly. 

So here is my Mr. tearing out the kitchen.
We use the bathtub to get water in the meantime!
It was a fairly dirty process but somebody had to do it!
I like to supervise and INSTRUCT, he doesn't always like that part?!
he says things are fairly straight forward and he can figure out a lot on his own. Hmm who knew!? ;)
I have to wait until my SOAPSTONE SINK is ready and we will plan the base cupboards once we get the sink home.
(more on that later)
Trying to find the right faucet is proving to be a little harder than anticipated. My Mr. mentioned that maybe we will just hook up a not so special faucet for the time being and wait until the right one comes along? I really don't want a faucet to hold up the kitchen progress so that just might be the route we take.
(we can't figure out what happened to the back of his shirt!? looks like something took a bite out of it lol)


 The large window was lower than the countertop height so they added the board across the bottom like a backsplash. It's not right against the window there is space between the two. I will probably leave the board and get a backsplash made from soapstone to go against it. The tiny door (that has been damaged!) goes straight out to what was once considered the summer kitchen where they had a cookstove hooked up. We will have to repair the door too! As if there isn't enough work here already! It really upsets me to see the senseless damage done around this home. You wouldn't believe what was going on in here at one time!! The lack of respect frustrates me. I usually reserve some choice words regarding that topic and the previous tenant..anyways!   The summer kitchen is within the same section as the old carriage house which is at the back of the house. So far we have found a horseshoe and a piece of leather saddle strapping back there! love finding great keepsakes!
 It's a tiny kitchen it measures 7x9? I think? I'll have to recheck that! The dining room is something like 18x19? it's big! so a lot of what would normally be in a kitchen will be flowing into the dining room. That's where we will have a coffee station and bar fridge for sure. It's nice when you have company, they can get up from the table and serve themselves!

There is this cute little wall pantry that is perfect for canned goods and storage. We will add new shelving so it is more functional. I am having a few issues trying to figure out a hood fan and exhaust pipe!! HMMM proving to be a bit of a headache! We also want to take up the flooring here to expose the original wood-you never really know what you are getting into until you get into it!~ so if need be we will put down pine flooring here. probably painted to help make clean up easier.

There is just enough space here for a fridge which I would like enclosed to look like a cupboard and a 36 inch gas stove. I am still unsure about the stove, I may use the white one we have now for a while and wait for the right one to come along. We will be taking out the heat duct on the floor here and adding it to underneath the sink area to blow out across floor. The next round of kitchen pics will be without this lovely wallpaper, don't be sad! You can always come back to this post to get another look.
OK! LOOOVVVEEE!!  these are my inspiration photos. Bright. Open shelving. Soapstone sink. (but just one sink) Nice faucet.
Oh this is just so darn pretty! It would suit that kitchen wall space perfectly! The countertop may just be simple painted or unpainted pine though. I am not quite sure of that yet but I want it to be a natural material.

(via pinterest
photography Helen Norman)

These next few photos are just collages I made with my phone. Areas around the house. I am so excited about new styling and flow. There are so many things that I realize I will not be keeping and changes I want to make. That's ok I am saving up stock for my Rustic Farmhouse Wares SHOP. The location is perfect! I've been in contact with Norfolk County Tourism & Economic Development and if all goes well my shop will be put on their website! I'm so thankful for all the support I have gotten so far! so fingers crossed!

The next set of photos I share may be of the bathroom tear out. I love the ideas and pieces we have for this makeover. I still have to figure out how exactly my Mr. will do the drysink top. We have the sink and faucet we just have to figure out placement and material. It's gonna be cute though!             #lovelavender!
For a while my studio/office will be in the one small room off the living room. It's so fun to play around with ideas. Eventually plans are to move it into the old summer kitchen which I can then go straight into the old carriage house which will be my shop.
I just LOVE this dining room! I love this floor! The little tin piece used to cover a hole is A-MAZ-ING! LURVE IT! I have plans to sew up some longer linen slips for these chairs too. I am also trying to decide paint colour in here. My TO DO LIST is so incredibly long!! WOW! Well that's about it for now peeps I hope to post again soon! It's a work in progress and I'm sure it will take longer than I'd like that's for sure! Considering the fact that there has already been some talk of a photo shoot for another magazine publication.....I hope to keep things at a decent speed!! I also love seeing the progress of renovation projects on many of the sites I follow. I love seeing the transformations!  Some are really fast! WOW Some are slower, like this but please be patient with ours, it just may help me be patient with it too! LOL
Be well!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Our feature in PRAIRIE STYLE Summer 2016!

 Hello Friends!

As you may remember we did a photo shoot a while back of our old farmhouse & orchard. The exterior shots will be featured in the upcoming issue of Country Sampler's Prairie Style Summer 2016! It was so fun working with Interiors & Lifestyle photographer Robin Stubbert again, I love seeing her work her magic! It's amazing the way she can capture a moment. When taking photos inside you can create lighting if need be but when working outside however, it's a race against time! I knew Robin had limited time to get some specific shots as the sun seemed to be going down quickly and I was in a panic! I remember trying desperately to get ALL of my family to do what they needed to do for the camera and of course when I had 5 of them doing it the 6th person wouldn't be, or someone would be missing all together and have gone back into the house! KIDS!! Oh it was a crazy night! Total chaos! Lots of fun though looking back! LOL       

                                                  link to Robin's website Robin Stubbert

I had made caramel & pecan apples and they kept melting and I was so upset that they seemed so sloppy! I wanted the perfect candy apple! Once I saw the photos though I realized how perfectly imperfect they were just they way they should be because this was really just another little glimpse into my world and everyone knows that's just how I roll in the kitchen! At the end of the evening, when it was all said and done we were really happy with what was accomplished in such a short period of time. We just sat at our table and smiled. It was late into the evening and we realized we were starving! We already had the fire going so my husband threw some chicken on the grill. They got a little charred but we ate it anyway! My family is used to (my) char but poor Robin!  It was the first time she had ever experienced anything like that, the combination of working with such time restrictions and all that chaos of such a large family.

In the end some amazing exterior (and interior!) shots were taken and I am forever grateful for such keepsakes and memories. Thanks so much to Robin for her amazing photography and also to the fabulous Fifi O'Neill for choosing to feature photos of my home & family not once but TWICE in Prairie Style magazine issues. Interior shots from this shoot will hopefully find a home soon and when they do I will be sure to let you know!
Visit Fifi Fifi
Order your early copy today!  Prairie Style Summer 2016

Monday, 20 June 2016

Rustic Farmhouse 'Wares'

 So, I am actually STILL working on this cupboard makeover. You know THAT GREEN CUPBOARD! that very popular one on pinterest!-well it's not THAT GREEN CUPBOARD anymore! I am not sure what to say about it at the moment.........I am sitting on the fence......anyways.....let's move on!

This last layer of wallpaper is BURNING MY EYES! As I mentioned before it's kind of sad to see some of this go-sometimes change is hard-but I am pretty sure it's going to look nice in the end! I LOVE the look of the exposed old plaster-especially when it has been repaired and the wall has several different plaster colors. One of my favorite examples of this would be princessgreeneye HERE 
I love the little built in pantry for canned goods on the left! The small door on the right goes out to the old back kitchen which was in the back of the carriage house. Those 2 sections will eventually be set up as my studio and shop. This room here was once a butlers pantry, it is now the kitchen and the servants quarters is directly above.

 I always see beauty in the simplest things. How lovely is a birds nest?! All the work that goes into it! Lavender! Not much more needs to be said. Just that one word LAVENDER says it all! Simply beautiful!
 OK!! So I have a LIST. You know the list ladies! I KNOW you have one too! The TO-DO LIST! But not the regular to-do list it's the one we all make in our heads. That list of a million and one things TO-DO! The 'evenutally' to-do list! I keep saying I have just got to paint this burgundy floor! it's also BURNING MY EYES! but I am seriously trying to fit a MILLION things within the day and next thing you know it's night time and I think "Well, maybe TOMORROW". Anyways you watch! Imma get at this soon!!! I am hoping to find the perfect light clay type color. Not too beige and not too gray, well maybe a little more gray! As you know picking colors is like pulling teeth! :/

 Once again LAVENDER!
 Ok so my etsy shop is back up and running. It may be running as slow as molasses but I am gonna give it a go! Creating is NOT my top priority right now, even though it is quite therapeutic! timing is not good but what the heck you only live once! If you are ever looking for that certain something you can always just ask! I can do custom work! You can check out my etsy shop RusticFarmhouseWares HERE
 I have some pretty grainsacks that I would like to create into some fabulous pieces!

This blue striped and monogrammed grainsack apron is heading out this week and I have already started cutting the red grainsack above to make another apron just like it. (I saw how pretty Miss Mustard Seed's was and knew I needed to make a red one!) If you haven't seen it click HERE
OK well, that's a bit of an update! What are you up to lately?
until next time peeps! ~Mel

Thursday, 9 June 2016

'Sharp' house.

Sometimes it's not easy to 'date' a pre 1900's home. Records are lost or not kept at all. I have had some help from our local museum to date this brick beauty but they are still looking for more information. According to the 1861 census there was a frame home located on this particular property but the owner is unknown, then according to the historic atlas this property & brick home was owned by David 'Sharp' in 1877. What happened between 1861-1877 is in question. We had suspected that the brick might have been built 'around' the frame home but the Curator from Dundurn said that there would be more evidence of it, but yet walls and chimneys are not exactly where he figured they should be.  It's been said that given the design and brickwork of the home it would have cost quite a bit of money at that time so David Sharp was a wealthy man.  One thing for sure is that if someone says "That's a 'sharp' house!", they are sure right! The location is great! Country living but 5 minutes to town. The property is so beautiful.  Once spring begins all the trees and bushes start filling out. Of course we have removed some things and added others and will continue to work on that. We have added 6 incrediball hydrangea bushes behind the back wall and one other hydrangea along the side wall. We also added 8 variegated hostas with white stripes around the house. We are going to do a lot more work as far as weeding and removing and are soon adding dark mulch to the flowerbeds along the house. We are keeping everything really simple. My mind is racing with ideas for a garden, raspberry bushes and lavender patch. And of course I'd love another cute little chicken coop! ~Mel
UPDATE!!!!! One day the hubs was gone to work so I was FORCED into the basement to do a job myself! (I try to avoid it because of all the 5 foot long creepy hairy spiders and who knows what other human eating creatures) As my flashlight skimmed the wall in the corner I found 1863 written in the lime plaster of the stone foundation!! YIPPEEE! some hope in piecing this all together! As I mentioned we knew there was a framed home on this property in 1861 then the date jumps to 1877. It was suspected that the brick was built around it. My husband and I took a WOOD WINDOWS course which was AMAZING! We will be able to repair all the original windows and upgrade their efficiency! You can check into that HERE.  I can tell you that while at this course, we got some GREAT advice from a VERY wise man Dr. Chris Cooper who teaches the courses. He also suspected that the brick home was built around the original framed home. Finding the date of 1863 along the one wall will help us figure some things out for sure! I can't wait to show that to our local museum!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Fresh Air & Sunshine

I am just loving this time of year. I find it really inspiring. It's not too hot or humid yet, but the sun is shining and there is just the right amount of warmth. I love spending time outdoors, as I look around I am noticing so much beauty. The bees are buzzing around as they do their jobs.  The mama birds are sitting in their nests, blooming flowers are in freshly manicured beds (ah except mine but I'm working on it!) And of course my favorite LILACS are out! The smell of fresh cut grass & spring blooms is in the air! The air just seems so FRESH! I opened the windows to let some of that IN and I opened up all the curtains to brighten up the interior spaces. I took duvets and pillows out for a good fluffing! The asparagus is ready and the local fruit & veggie stands are starting to get busy. And of course I'm finding super cute outfits & shoes for the girls and get to see their cute painted toes! Ahhhhhh it's a wonderful time of the year! I hope you've been able to enjoy the weather too!


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